With the Opposition in strength in the Rajya Sabha, both the Congress and the Left insisted on a vote by division to defeat the amendments to the Income Tax Act suggested by the Finance Minister. And when the electronic board showed that the vote was going the Opposition’s way, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury stood up and quipped to P.J. Kurien, the vice chairman of the Rajya Sabha, “We may have a problem with the EVMs, but we have no problem with your machines”.


Is all well at the India International Centre? 31 March saw an unusually stormy AGM meet at the cultural centre. The president, Soli Sorabjee met with some unexpected opposition from two other elected trustees —N.N. Vohra and Kapila Vatsyayan. Sorabjee, it may be recalled, has been re-elected president for a five-year term in January 2017. Such was the acrimony in the board that questions have also been raised on the selection process of the new members. The stormy meeting did not allow any of the intended agenda of the meet to be completed. So much so that the results of the election for the post of an elected trustee has now been sealed as well. It is interesting because this is the first time such an acrimonious atmosphere has pervaded this club known for its academic and cultural credentials.


The new Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh undertook a lot of havans before moving into the official residence at Lucknow’s 5 Kalidas Marg. He is also said to have done away with Akhilesh Yadav’s array of Chinese and continental chefs since he prefers food cooked by his personal assistant, who serves him food in copper plates. The air-conditioners have also been removed as Yogi has never used them. The extended havans and rituals promoted Akhilesh Yadav to comment that five years later in 2022, when he wrests 5 Kalidas Marg back, he would get fire engines to spray Ganga-jal on the house. An angry BJP chastised him for these comments. But then as Akhilesh Yadav told NewsX in an interview during the campaign, “This house is what the fight is all about.” After all, the elections are all about who gets to move into the CM’s official residence.


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