Delhi Confidential: Collecting Accolades

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, who had started off conducting business in a very strict manner, chose to turn a new leaf on Wednesday. He sat through proceedings for over three hours, delaying even the lunch-break until 2.30 pm to let members, particularly the new ones, to raise issues of public interest during Zero Hour. This prompted Trinamool Congress member Saugata Roy to remark that Birla had even forgotten his hunger pangs . This is an example for posterity how a Speaker should work, Roy added.

Word s Worth

Sparingly used English words are generally associated with Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. An exchange on complicated vocabulary, however, broke out between Congress MP Manish Tewari and Commerce and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal in Lok Sabha on Wednesday during the Question Hour. When Tewari said that Goyal was filibustering through his answers, the minister objected and asserted that the word had been used wrongly. Towards the close of Question Hour, Goyal rose again and this time read out the meaning of filibustering, to which Tewari objected. As the Speaker announced end of Question Hour while they argued, both were seen breaking into boisterous laughter.

Returning A Favour

Delivering his speech on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recalled an anecdote about a friend who has helped him understand India. Pompeo said that Charles Vijendra Ghoorah, whom he calls Chuck , has been his friend for over 25 years and he wanted to return the favour. So in 2016, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was to address the US Congress, Pompeo, then a member of the US Congress, gave his ticket for the event to Chuck, who was quite happy to be in the same room as Modi and listen to him.