Two accused in Rajouri Garden firing incident arrested

NEW DELHI Delhi police have arrested two gangsters...

Arab world is China’s new strategic pillar

As the American economic engagement diminishes in...

‘Rs 9 lakh debt led to government employee’s murder in RK Puram’

‘Motive was the loan amount the accused...


Editor's ChoiceCool Breeze :A CAPITAL DIALOGUE INDEED

Hardeep Singh Puri, the very urbane Union Minister for Urban Affairs (and Petroleum) was recently the chief guest at the Capital Dialogue (an interactive series where policymakers meet key stakeholders, organised by the Sunday Guardian Foundation). Since the minister is a well-known face in the capital, and also since this was his first public interaction post the inauguration of the new Parliament, the hall was packed with policymakers, thought leaders, students, doctors, school principals, fashion designers, diplomats and service officers. Not surprisingly, most of the initial questions were about the new Parliament, which the minister fielded with his usual finesse; but at the same time underplaying his own role in the project, saying with a smile, “I was just the contractor” (it was his ministry that oversaw the construction of the building in record time).


Union Minister Hardeep Puri made an interesting revelation at the Capital Dialogue, when asked whether the government could have done more in bringing the Opposition around. Apparently during the bhoomi pujan on 10 December 2022 (which the opposition had boycotted as well), the minister reveals, “I was instructed (in December) by the Honourable Prime Minister to visit Dr Manmohan Singh and tell him that the PM would be very happy if Doctor Sahab would grace the occasion. I went to see him. He wasn’t well but he told me he would come if he was up to it… We tried then, we tried now.”

Dharmocracy anyone?

Ram Madhav has coined an interesting new word for the Modi era—Dharmocracy. It’s something the BJP should be quick to pick up as there are some who feel that with the Hindutva genie out of the bottle, it is now time to look for a new buzzword. Given the fact that 2024 elections would be fought on the Prime Minister’s track record in office, this would add the right Hindutva overtones to both governance and the upkeep of democratic traditions, two planks the BJP will be showcasing in its election campaign. These are also two issues that the Opposition will be targeting the Modi government on, for on more than one occasion the Congress has referred to the PM as being a dictator. With the run-up to 2024, both the BJP and the Congress will be looking to sharpen their poll talk, so expect some more spin and buzzwords such as this to be added to our political lexicon.


The CSDS and Lokniti survey on the political mood of the nation, conducted by Prof Sanjay Kumar and his team, has some interesting takeaways. According to this, when asked who would be their PM choice (if polls were held now), as many as 43% said the current PM, while 27% opted for Rahul Gandhi. The only cheer for the Congress is the fact that Rahul’s numbers have gone up from 24% in 2019 and 14% in 2024. The Prime Minister remains at status quo, for he was 44% in 2019 (and 35% in 2014). At the Capital Dialogue, Cabinet Minister Hardeep Puri was asked whether he was worried that while Rahul Gandhi’s figures showed an upward trend, the PM remained at status quo. He immediately shot back: “It would be very optimistic to think that Rahul can bridge the gap between him and the PM.” Clearly, he wasn’t worried.

A Protest that Would Register

The Opposition had boycotted the opening ceremony of the new Parliament building saying that the inauguration should have been done by the President of India, Droupadi Murmu and not the Prime Minister. However in doing so, they missed out on being a part of a very historic moment. Given the fact that the MPs are going to spend the rest of this year (and most of next), to ensure that they get a return ticket to enter this very same Parliament, it was a shame for them to miss out on opening day. Perhaps they should have found a better way to register their protest. While speaking on NewsX Cover Story, Suhel Seth, marketing maven and political commentator, had a solution. He suggested that instead of boycotting the event, the Opposition should have attended it, but with black bands on their arms and the words, “Where is Our President?” written on them. That way they could have done both, registered their protest and also shared the moment. Perhaps the Opposition should watch the Cover Story more often.

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles