Your dose of gossip from the Parliament.
Pollution and Pretence: A lot has been made about the seriousness, or the lack of it, among our parliamentarians on the pollution crisis that has gripped large portions of north India. Yes, it is not just Delhi.
That lack of seriousness was again on display on Tuesday. After much hype over a debate on the issue, when it actually came down to deliberating on the issue, most of the MPs decided they had better things to do.
Only 115 were present in the Lok Sabha when the issue was being discussed. We counted. But someone who was hard to miss in this debate was former India cricketer and east Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir.
But that does not mean our netas can’t make a show about how much they care for the environment and the air quality. In the first two days, BJP’s Ravi Kishan and Manoj Tiwari cycled to the Parliament House. All BJP MPs were also given brochures to read up on pollution.
Family Security: The Congress on Tuesday protested in Lok Sabha over the withdrawal of SPG security cover given to the Gandhi family and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (but mainly just the Gandhis). During the protests, there was one person who was conspicuously absent from the House: Sonia Gandhi.
The chatter is that she had told her party not to make the downgrade of her security to Z-plus level a big issue as she doesn’t want to be seen as groveling before the government. But party seniors told her that the ‘political witch hunt’ by the BJP must be exposed and decided to hold the protest.
As a result of the removal of the SPG cover, the Congress president also had to walk in alone after entering the Parliament. The lone CRPF personnel accompanying her in her car was stopped at Gate 1 by Parliament security.
Rahul M.I.A: While Sonia Gandhi only missed a session here and there, her son and former Congress president Rahul Gandhi missed the second day of the Winter Session. Sources say he is expected back from his ‘vipassana’ abroad on Wednesday.
His absence was also noted by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, who also took a dig at the Congress leader. Om Birla said in House that there was a matter which was raised by Gandhi and he wanted to give him a chance today to raise his question. But the MP was on leave, evoking smiles from the BJP.