TikTok for a cause
Even as much of India is planning to uninstall TikTok, the police department in various states is using the Chinese video-sharing social networking service to reach out to people and spread awareness about Covid-19. Kerala police has been particularly proactive in using the platform to share citizen-centric videos with guidelines and tips on Covid-19 safety. Besides Covid-related information, the Bengaluru police has used TikTok to highlight issues related to women’s safety and online frauds. The Punjab Police’s recent videos even feature voice-overs by local celebrities like actor Jaswinder Bhalla, singer and actor Diljit Dosanjh and singer Sidhu Moose Wala. It is also using it actively to make citizens aware of the dangers of forwarding fake news.
Monsoon session is on
In an indication that the monsoon session of Parliament could be held according to schedule, Lok Sabha Secretary General Snehlata Srivastava on Thursday banned the entry of personal assistants (PAs) of Members of Parliament (MPs). Srivastava said their entry needed to be restricted “in view of prevailing pandemic situation due to Covid-19”. “The presence of more than 800 PAs during the session will make the situation vulnerable,” she stated in an order. The current proposal is to hold Lok Sabha meetings in the Central Hall of Parliament, and Rajya Sabha meetings in the Lok Sabha chambers on alternate days. The month-long monsoon session usually starts in the third week of July.
Elections come, MLAs go
Trouble for the Congress in Gujarat is not ending. With Rajya Sabha elections to four seats from the state due on June 19, two of its legislators have gone incommunicado. Two others quit as Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) on Wednesday, which has made the elections interesting. There are five candidates in the fray, three from the Bharatiya Janata Party and two from the Congress. Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi said on Thursday he had accepted the resignations of the two Congress MLAs. In March, five Congress MLAs had resigned. The Congress strength in the Gujarat Assembly has gradually dwindled to 66 from 77. Moreover, there is now infighting in its camp. The Congress has fielded Bharatsinh Solanki (left) and Shaktisinh Gohil (right ) for the two seats and party MLAs seem divided in their allegiance.