Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s sudden illness could force her to stay away from election campaigning in Delhi. Sonia, who was admitted to Ganga Ram Hospital on Sunday with stomach infection, could be discharged on Tuesday, but party leaders appeared doubtful on whether she would be able to address a scheduled campaign rally in East Delhi on Wednesday. Sonia had similarly cancelled a rally she was scheduled to address in Haryana during the Vidhan Sabha polls in October last year. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, who was in Delhi on Saturday to address a couple of campaign meetings, also could not do so after he felt unwell. So far, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is the only senior leader to have campaigned for the party in the national capital.
On Poll Duty
In an unusual dinner meeting with personal assistants (PAs) of BJP MPs at the residence of a Union minister on Saturday, the PAs were asked to refrain from working for their respective MPs for the next few days leading up to the Delhi Assembly elections and “work for the party” instead. They were also asked to “ensure” that all votes from staff quarters of MP residences are in favour of the saffron party.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget speech was the longest ever. Since February 1 was a Saturday, many MPs did not anticipate the speech to last three hours. Some MPs, in fact, left before the last part of her speech, as they had to leave for the airport.