Unity a distant dream in Congress!
It seems the Congress in Punjab is still not ready to learn a lesson from its previous mistakes. The party, as observed, lost the Assembly polls 2012 due to infighting. The state is inching towards Vidhan Sabha 2017 polls but things in the Congress are still not changing for the better. Ten days back, Dera Baba Nanak MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa assaulted the party’s Seva Dal leader IS Gulati during Dinanagar dharna and now on Saturday the Congress workers at Lambi again came to blows. They tossed each others’ turbans on the stage and exposed the ‘unity’ among them. The love among the Congress factions was also visible with many Congress leaders wearing blood stained ‘kurta pyjamas’.
Kamal Nath fiasco
AICC president Sonia Gandhi replaced Shaqeel Ahmed by appointing Kamal Nath as the Punjab affairs in-charge but before he could arrive here it already had stirred the hornet’s nest. It was not only the Akali and BJP cadre but also the AAP and some of the Congress leaders having roots in Punjab who joined the bandwagon against Kamal Nath.
Everyone was claiming to be disturbed to learn about his appointment, saying that he was an accused in 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Though PPCC president Amarinder Singh tried his best to defend Kamal Nath, seeing the escalating resentment the latter himself tendered resignation which AICC chief Sonia Gandhi quickly accepted within three days of his appointment. The whole fiasco left the party leaders with nothing else than defending Kamal Nath and asking all to wait for the next in-charge.
Bathinda, a destination for agitators
The political interest of the rulers that gave numerous developmental projects to Bathinda city has its side-effects too. With the elections coming closer, the ruling Badals’ ‘adopted city’ has again turned into protesters’ rally ground. Every alternate day the agitators become hurdle in the traffic movement, which makes the district police to rain lathis on them. Be it the teachers, linemen, farmers, labourers or medical staff, everyone is here to stage dharna as they all know that the land of Bathinda has always remained kind enough to the agitators seeking government favour in the past one decade.
When Khaira was left speechless
Former MLA Sukhpal Khaira is known for his inflated attitude and often tries to be aggressive with journalists at press conferences. He is known to have an affinity towards journalists from English newspapers and usually ignores questions from Hindi and Punjabi dailies. If a reporter from a vernacular daily tries to ask him questions that he does not like, he gets aggressive and tries to snub the journalist. But goes on back foot if the journalist is well informed. This is what happened at Jalandhar Press Club recently. In the press conference called by the ex-MLA , a reporter from a reputed news agency asked him ‘Sir, now you are talking against the appointment of Kamal Nath as Punjab incharge by the Congress but you never spoke about 1984 riots and Kamal Nath or Jagdish Tytler while you were in the Congress.
Is it that you just release statements to remain in news somehow?” Khaira stared at him and then again turned his attention towards other journalists. This happened twice and still Khaira didn’t answer him. When the journalist asked him for the third time, Khaira turned towards him and said, “Tusi mainu jaande nahin (you don’t know me)”. But the journalist was no one to be taken for granted. He retorted, “Khaira sahib, I know you and your father well who was a DSP and then joined SAD and later thrown out of SAD. I am the same person whom you called time and again to release your sound bytes on Doordarshan.” Khaira didn’t answer the question even after that and preferred to wind up the press conference early.
Khattar gets tough
Jat leaders have seemingly started Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar taking very seriuosly. Who knows better than Khattar himselh on how he was ‘misguided’ by some of his well-wishers during the Jat quota agitation which left as many as 30 people dead and properties worth several thousands of crores destroyed. This time, when Jat leaders threatened to resume stir, Khattar reportedly conveyed to them that the rule of law would deal with them firmly. He also told them that the state government had done everything possible to give reservation to them, but now the matter is sub-judice, so the government could not do much in this regard. He was belived to have told them that if they still wish to go ahead with the agitation, it should not only be peaceful and but should not also disturb, else they would have to face the music. Jats have decided not to agitate till the matter was sub-judice. Good sense seemed to have prevailed upon them!
Rahul’s struggles with Punjabi
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Jalandhar last week saw him struggling to speak Punjabi. One such interesting Punjabi word which caught everybody’s attention and left the audience laughing was when the Gandhi scion said that Akalis had cornered good officers. “Akalis ne ache officers ko khudde ki line lagaya hai”. What he actually wanted to say in Punjabi was “khudde line”!! Punjabi is surely a simple language but definitely not for the Gandhi scion!!!
Cops’ journalistic preferences
When it comes to traffic offences, Chandigarh traffic policemen do not hesitate from expressing their likes and dislikes openly. One such incident was witnessed recently when a harried reporter of a leading English daily jumped yellow light. As expected, she was intercepted by a cop. Apologetic, the reporter politely told the cop that she thought the light was out of order and the yellow one blinking as usual. The cop dismissed the reply and told her he would issue a challan.
The obedient reporter got down from her car, ready to take the challan slip. The cop then asked her where was she off to in such a hurry. “Office,” she replied and then gave the newspaper’s name. The cop immediately returned the documents and remarked, “Madam, you are a sensible reporter, just like the rest of your colleagues, so I will let you off without a challan.” Pointing out to a leading Hindi daily he was holding in his hand, he was quick to add: “Had it been someone from this newspaper, I would have issued challan immediately.”
Miffed with media
Congress leader Rana Gurjit, who ran the show at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s Jalandhar visit was miffed with media after the protest. Reason, Rana was quoted as saying that all newspapers preferred to carry the war of words with Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa. While Bajwa wanted to steal the show just before the arrival of Gandhi scion, Rana tried his best to stop him. This in turn left everybody laughing, as Bajwa did not miss this chance of snubbing Rana on the stage.
(contributed by rajay deep,rajeev ranjan roy, kusum arora, himani bahuguna, Sunil Ruddra)
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