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Wait to hear why House didn't work

August 10, 2015 09:37 IST

Expect fun and games on the floor of the two Houses.

On Monday, the suspension of Congress MPs from the Lok Sabha will be over and they will be back in full strength. They are threatening to bring even bigger placards and hold even noisier demonstrations.

The government has ruled out cutting short the session. So, expect fun and games on the floor of the two Houses.

Thursday will be the last working day of the Monsoon Session.

If relations between the government and the opposition had been more cordial, we might have expected to see the Goods and Services Tax legislation being rolled out. But it was not to be.

Both sides will hold press conferences on the last day to explain why the Parliament could not function effectively.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee will be in Delhi on Tuesday and has sought an appointment with the prime minister to urge for central funds from the National Calamity Relief Fund.

"I will go with a detailed report and will seek funds from the Centre for disaster relief. We will request the Centre for back up support," the chief minister told reporters after holding a video conference to review the flood situation.

She is also likely to review her party's relations with the Congress and role the Trinamool Congress has played in Parliament.

August 15 every year is watched closely for the announcements the prime minister makes from ramparts of the Red Fort. This year is no different.

Narendra Modi's first Red Fort speech was notable for the longest-ever made by any PM; it was in this speech that he unveiled the Make in India slogan; and wearing a Rajasthani safa, he described himself not as Pradhan Mantri but Pradhan Sevak (Principal Servant) of India. He struck a note different from all other PMs when he urged SAARC countries to come together to fight poverty in the region.

"Can we not remove poverty? Can we not wage war against poverty? The strength of the saviour is much more than the strength of the person who kills. Let's unite to fight poverty," he said. Obviously, this was an appeal to Pakistan.

At that time the prime minister was fresh from a meeting with Nawaz Sharief who had attended his swearing-in barely months ago.

Now, as India and Pakistan swear at each other, what will the prime minister say about his neighbourhood policy? Will he refer to the opposition? Will he offer succour to the flood hit? Will he announce more goodies for the poor? Will he refer to the Bihar elections in some way?

The answers will be available on the morning of Saturday: along with his sartorial statement.

Around this time of the year, India finalises its invitation to the chief guest for the January 26 parade.

Who will it be in 2016?

The Asia-Pacific has been represented four time in five years (President Lee Myung Bak of South Korea in 2010; President Susilo Yudhoyono of Indonesia in 2011; Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of Thailand in 2012 and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2014). In 2013, Bhutan King Jigme Wangchuk was the chief guest and in 2015, of course it was Barack Obama.

So logically, a guest from Europe or West Asia should be expected this time.

Could a BJP-led government invite King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia who ascended the throne in January 2015?

Saudi Arabia is said to be Pakistan's closest ally and friend. It has had its own share of problems after its stand-off with rebels in Yemen in which Pakistan has held back in providing a full military support.

The last Republic Day chief guest from Saudi Arabia was in 2006: and it was King Salman's predecessor, King Abdullah.

The decision rests entirely with the PM.

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