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Delhi Confidential: Past & Present

In her maiden speech in the Rajya Sabha, nominated member P T Usha, while recounting her dream to pursue athletics, mentioned two Prime Ministers — Indira Gandhi and Narendra Modi. “…myself being a girl from remote Payyoli in Kerala, a village without any facilities to pursue my sporting dreams, met and spoke for the first time to the then Prime Minister late Indira Priyadarshiniji, which was one of the most precious moments of my life,” Usha said. “…Running up to the year 2000 and training my younger generation till yesterday, this devotee [referring to herself] has dedicated herself to the betterment of Indian sports and, once again, had the rare privilege to meet Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modiji, the most admired Prime Minister…,” Usha said.

Poet’s Popularity

After a tiring day in the House, some of the Opposition MPs got a chance to spend the evening in a refreshing ambiance. The occasion was a discussion on the English translation of DMK MP T Sumathy Thamizhachi Thangapandian’s Tamil short stories at the Constitution Club. Being a leading Tamil poet, Sumathy certainly has hordes of fans in her home state but the crowd at the venue was a clear evidence to her popularity in Parliament, too. More than a dozen MPs from various parties attended the event. M Kanimozhi (DMK), Supriya Sule (NCP), Shashi Tharoor (Congress), and Sougata Ray (TMC) spoke about how Sumathy’s is a pleasant presence during the “boring” sessions in Parliament. Ray went on to say that even if Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla calls for a meeting, so many MPs wouldn’t be present.

Protest Singing

With Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla giving a stringent warning that no MP should exhibit placards inside the House, the Opposition had to innovate to protest in the House. On Wednesday, when the House met in the second half, Congress MPs stormed the well of the House and started singing Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram and Saare Jahan Se Achha to register their protest. Congress MP from Kerala Ramya Haridas was leading the band and others repeated the lines she recited. Many BJP members were amused to see that the MPs sang both the songs almost to the last line.

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