Free for ceremony!

Wondering how the Madhya Pradesh governor’s house in Bhopal became a “non-containment zone” within five days of the detection of 10 Covid-19 positive cases on campus? Areas like Professors Colony, which is adjacent to Raj Bhavan, continue to be notified as containment zone after a patient tested positive months ago. Insiders say the decision to notify the Raj Bhavan as a non-containment zone was taken in view of the expansion of the Cabinet, which is expected to take place soon.

Sources say the swearing-in ceremony could be organised at the historic Minto Hall (old Assembly building), opposite the governor’s house. The “containment zone” tag would have thrown the entire ceremony in jeopardy.

77 versus 56

Elections to four Rajya Sabha seats in Karnataka are due on June 19. The Bharatiya Janata Party is sure to win two of these four. The Congress has decided to support the candidature of Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda for one seat. There is, however, a struggle within the Congress on who gets to contest the fourth seat. The old guard wants the party to support 77-year-old Mallikarjun Kharge instead of 56-year-old Rajeev Gowda who has put in place the party’s research department from scratch in the last few years. According to sources, Kharge’s supporters pointed out that Rajeev is a Vokkaliga, as is D K Shivakumar who was recently appointed the Congress’s Karnataka state unit chief. Given that, the supporters argue the party should send Kharge who is a Dalit.

Four demands

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) had earlier suggested to the rest of the opposition, including the Congress, that they should jointly protest what it termed the government’s apathy towards problems faced by migrant workers. With little support from the rest of the opposition, the CPI(M) politburo has decided to launch countrywide protests on June 16. CPI(M) leader (pictured) said that the protests would respect social-distancing norms. He said the party has four demands. One, the government should deposit Rs 7,500 in the bank accounts of poor families for the next six months; two, distribute 10 kg foodgrains to the poor every month for the next six months; three, increase MGNREGA working days to 200; and four, the government should stop privatisation of public sector un­dertakings and changes in labour laws.


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