Is Barkis willing
Mr Barkis of Dickens' David Copper field was always willing and unlike the local variants never shied from asserting that he is available for marriage. The deal is 2:1. In the forthcoming assembly by-polls in West Bengal the Congress and CPI(M) have agreed to contest 2 and one seat respectively, of the up for grabs 3. "...Our primary aim is to defeat both the TMC and BJP in this bypoll," thundered Chairman Bose.
Soumya Guhathakurta

Spy software Pegasus is in action
WhatsApp reveals that some of its users' accounts in countries including India were taken over by spy software called Pegasus, which is made in Israel by an entity named the NSO Group, owned by "an American private equity firm, Francisco Partners." (Wikipedia)

The NSO Group ...has said that it provides the tool exclusively to "licensed government intelligence and law enforcement agencies" ("Indian Express", 2 Nov 2019).

"The Cyber & Information Security (C&IS) division of the ministry of home affairs [India] on Thursday had denied purchasing the software which is at the centre of the alleged snooping row" ("Economic Times", 2 Nov 2019).
Is one side lying or both?
MD, New Delhi

Representation of the People Act, 1951
The Representation of the People Act, 1951, tells us how to elect our legislators. For several years I would be annoyed to see it written "Representation of Peoples Act". I can now say that this mis-naming maywell be the work of someone in or under the Election Commission of India. At the web site of the Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi ( you only need toclick on "Quick Links—Election Laws". The peoples are not the damn-fools responsible for such things.
Mukul Dube

Cong and CPM smile... at one another
The news of an electoral understanding between the Congress & the CPI(M) in the upcoming West Bengal state assembly bypolls is out and reactions have been muted. Politics moves at its own pace and moves by these two contending parties do not create a flutter in state politics any more. It is a learning for all that the politics of street fighting and area domination practised by these two parties does not take a political party too far and hardly beyond the area it dominates.
Soumya Guhathakurta, Kolkata

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Vol. 52, No. 20, Nov 17 - 23, 2019