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Gandhigiri: BJP offers roses to protesting Congress MPs in Parliament

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New Delhi: In a bid to make up with protesting Congress lawmakers, some BJP MPs offered roses to them in the Lok Sabha. This happened while the former were inside the well of the house raising slogans over alleged atrocities against Dalits.

Congress MPs stormed into the well raising slogans against the Prime Minister and the SAD-BJP government in Punjab over the alleged chopping off of limbs of two Dalit youths at a farmhouse in Abohar, even though Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected notices for adjournment of the Question Hour including one on the Punjab Dalit issue.

While they were shouting slogans like ‘PM sharam karo’ (PM shame, shame) and ‘dismiss Punjab government’, six BJP lawmakers offered them roses.

Apparently embarrassed by their move, some senior BJP leaders pulled their MPs out of the well, but not before the latter had strewn a few roses on the table of the Lok Sabha secretariat officials inside the well.

When the House proceedings resumed, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge insisted on a debate on the Dalit issue.

Taking a dig at protesting Congress MPs, the Speaker said, “There is a question on farmers, but they (Congress members) have nothing to do with the farmers.”

When the Congress MPs continued raising slogans, Mahajan said in an angry vein, “In reality, you don’t want to raise Dalit issue. You just want to shout. This is not fair.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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Ukraine’s New Leader Gets Sworn In, Immediately Dissolves Parliament

The 41-year-old Zelenskiy had upended the traditions of Ukrainian politics

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Ukraine's New Leader, Parliament
Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy greets supporters before inauguration ceremony in Kyiv, Ukraine, May 20, 2019. VOA

Ukrainian TV star Volodymyr Zelenskiy was sworn in as the country’s new president on Monday, promised to stop the war in the country’s east against Russian-backed separatists and immediately disbanded parliament, which he has branded as a group only interested in self-enrichment.

Even before he disbanded the Supreme Rada, which had been one of his campaign promises, the 41-year-old Zelenskiy had upended the traditions of Ukrainian politics.

He ditched the idea of a traditional motorcade to his inauguration, walking to the parliament through a park packed with people. Flanked by four bodyguards, he was giving high-fives to some spectators and even stopped to take a selfie with one of them.

Before he made the announcement, Zelenskiy asked the Supreme Rada to adopt a bill against illegal enrichment and support his motions to fire the country’s defense minister, the head of the Ukrainian Security Service and the Prosecutor General. All of them are allies of former President Petro Poroshenko, who lost the presidential election in a landslide to the comedian with no previous political experience.

Ukraine's New Leader, Parliament
Ukrainian TV star Volodymyr Zelenskiy was sworn in as the country’s new president on Monday. Flickr

In a feisty speech after his inauguration, Zelenskiy told the Rada that his main goal for the presidency is to bring peace to eastern Ukraine, where government troops have been fighting Russia-backed separatists for five years.

“I’m ready to do everything so that our heroes don’t die there,” he said. “I’m ready to lose my popularity and, if necessary, I’m ready to lose my post so that we have peace.”

Zelenskiy garnered 73% of the vote at the presidential election last month in a victory that reflected Ukrainians’ exhaustion with politics-as-usual. For years, he has played the Ukrainian president in a popular television show.

The new president wrapped up his speech at parliament by referring to his career as a comedian.

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“Throughout all of my life, I tried to do everything to make Ukrainians laugh,” he said with a smile. “In the next five years I will do everything so that Ukrainians don’t cry.” (VOA)