Delhi Confidential: First Greeting

When Rajya Sabha Trinamool Congress (TMC) floor leader Derek O’Brien welcomed Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar as the new Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the latter said that he was late in extending the greeting. Dhankhar said the first congratulatory message he received had come from TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Many found the information amusing since Dhankhar has had a tumultuous relation with Mamata during his previous tenure as the West Bengal Governor.

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Replying to a question on Thursday, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs said 120-lakh houses had been sanctioned under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban till March 31. In the Monsoon Session, the ministry had put the figure of such houses at 122 lakh which it reduced by 2.24 lakh after excluding the ‘non-starter houses’, according to the reply. Ministry officials felt that houses where construction could not start for reasons out of their control should not reflect in the figure of total houses completed under the scheme.