Pre-Truth – snappy, witty and significant snippets from the world of politics and government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to get direct feedback from the people about their representatives in Parliament and state assemblies and also about the popularity of local BJP leaders. ‘People’s Pulse’, an online poll, was launched on the NaMo App on 26 May. It asks five broad questions: ‘Are you satisfied with the work of your MLA’, ‘are you satisfied with the work of your MP’, ‘who are the three most popular BJP leaders in your state’, ‘who are the three most popular BJP leaders in your constituency and according to you’ and ‘which are the three most popular government schemes’.
The online survey, which is still on, has elicited responses from 1.3 lakh people so far. Those behind the poll say the idea is to get direct feedback on local, state and national issues and gauge public perception about party leaders at constituency and state levels. The survey has obviously made several MPs and MLAs anxious. The results could have a bearing on their political future.
Amit Shah meets ex-CJI Lahoti as part of ‘Sampark for Samarthan’
BJP president Amit Shah has been meeting quite a few prominent figures to garner support for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as part ‘Sampark for Samarthan’ (contact for support) programme. The list includes former cricketer Kapil Dev, actress Madhuri Dixit, former army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag and industrialist Ratan Tata, among others.
But one name that came as a surprise to many in the legal circles was that of former chief justice of India R.C. Lahoti since he retired over a decade ago. But a little research into why Lahoti may have figured in Shah’s list reveals something interesting.
It was during Lahoti’s tenure as CJI that the landmark ruling on cow slaughter ban was given. Lahoti constituted a seven-judge bench, with at least five of them being vegetarian, to hear the case. The judgment, delivered a week before Lahoti retired, permitted state governments to impose a total ban on cow slaughter by 6-1 majority.
Incidentally, the lone dissenting judge A.K. Mathur was a non-vegetarian.
Buzz about ED director Karnal Singh’s service extension
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is abuzz with speculation about an extension to director Karnal Singh whose two-year fixed term lapses in October. He was given ad hoc charge as director in August 2015 and functioned in that capacity until November 2016 with two extensions. It was only on the direction of the Supreme Court that the government appointed him full-fledged director with a fixed tenure of two years.
The ED is seized with several sensitive cases of money laundering allegedly involving prominent personalities such as liquor baron Vijay Mallya and many opposition leaders. Appointment of a new director just months before the general elections could be a tricky affair for the government that has been accused of using investigation agencies to settle scores with political adversaries. It is this factor that has given rise to speculation about a six months’ extension to Karnal Singh who is considered close to the current dispensation at the Centre. Singh, in the meantime, is lobbying for a post-retirement rehabilitation in the Central Information Commission.
CBI director’s car stuck in parking mess outside office
CBI director Alok Verma’s car got stuck at the exit gate of the agency’s headquarters in New Delhi last week as many vehicles were parked outside, blocking the gate. Verma was apparently irked by this and a call went from his office to the deputy commissioner of police (traffic) for south Delhi. Delhi traffic police have since ensured that no cars are parked around the CBI headquarters, much to the inconvenience to visitors.
Why Goyal’s vaastu did not go down well with Jaitley
After taking charge as finance minister, the first thing Piyush Goyal did is to install two life-size brass idols of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi in the North Block. His ministry spent a few lakhs to get these idols. However, the officers close to union minister Arun Jaitley, currently recuperating from his kidney transplant surgery, informed him that Goyal is willing to make some changes according to vaastu norms. That got Jaitley worried and he started taking interest in ministry’s work. The messaging was clear, that he is still the minister and would return to work very soon. Finally, Goyal understood the point and has stopped coming to North Block for the past few days. The finance ministry officials now have to go to Rail Bhavan to meet Goyal.
(Contributors: Ruhi Tewari, Ananya Bhardwaj, Apurva Vishwanath and Kumar Anshuman)