Coffee with Captain but no serving!
Poll strategist Prashant Kishor, through his team IPAC, has introduced some components in PPCC president Captain Amarinder Singh’s campaign for 2017 Vidhan Sabha polls, of which one is ‘Coffee with Captain.’ Call it the innocence of our people that everywhere when they go to attend the event, they return dejected. It’s not for Capt Amarinder’s conduct but the name of the event ‘Coffee with Captain’ makes them have a feel as if they would be privileged to have coffee with Captain Amarinder but in contrast, the team has hardly yet arranged even the water for the workers attending the event. To a shocker for Kishor’s team on Sunday, mediapersons advised its representatives, “Better you rename the component as ‘Water with Captain’ and stop befooling people. If not coffee, do arrange for water at least.”
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh has expressed his concern as to how Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government poses threat to the country. Many may not subscribe to his view but will certainly admit the fact that the way AAP MLAs are being ‘rightly or wrongly’ implicated in different cases, the day is not far off when the fledgling regional outfit will be in trouble. It is being also said that Singh is happy with the way things are shaping up for his party, as his men claim that all this will help the AAP in polls in Punjab, Gujarat and Goa as well. It remains to be see how and when Sanjay’s fear gets converted into electoral feat.
Khattar’s love for Gita
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s love for Gita is going to be a costlier affair. The state government has decided to celebrate the Gita Mahatosava in a grand manner, which is going to entail a huge expenditure. Since the state coffer is currently brimming with deposits, the state government does not seem to be bothered about optimum utilisation of taxpayers’ money. As has been preached in the Gita that one should live in the present, Khattar does not believe in the future. Let him live in present and make the most of state resources to propagate the values taught in Gita!
Government sounds helpless?
For the first time, the state government seems to be helpless before the Governor. The remarks of the Chief Minister and a senior minister separately on Governor’s adamance on the issue of government’s proposal to give extension to the Vice Chancellors of CSK HP Agriculture University Palampur and Dr Y S Parmar Horticulture and Forestry University, Solan reflect it clearly. Not taking a second to reply to a media query on the issue of Governor turning down Palampur V-C’s extension, Virbhadra Singh said with a bit rudeness recently, “Iskey baarey mein Governor jaaney (Governor may know much better).” Another senior minister’s strong reaction on Solan VC’s issue was, “Governor is not listening to us at all.” Does it mean, the top politicians in the state have lost their say on issues that are to be routed through the Raj Bhawan?
Killing two birds with one stone!
Himself targetted by the Dhumal camp in BJP, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh knows where to attack. Taking big advantage of the openly lingering Shanta-Dhumal rift in the opposition BJP, Singh has always been praising former BJP Chief Minister Shanta Kumar vis-a-vis former BJP CM Prem Kumar Dhumal. “The BJP politics was decent and fine till Shanta’s rule,” he said, when asked about the political standards in HP. Singh’s stance softens up the Shanta loyalists and embarrasses the Dhumal supporters—-which often creates such a divide in the BJP that both the camps in the opposition party start attacking each other on the issue. That probably serves the purpose of the Congress Chief Minister well. Too shrewd a politician!
Dissent voices in AAP
The AAP took pride in becoming the first to come up with the list of candidates. The party, this past week, announced 19 names of candidates for Vidhan Sabha polls in Punjab. The announcement, however, came with some unlike developments. Apart from the H S Kingra, who alleged ticket selling, Punjab convener of the party Sucha Singh Chhotepur also couldn’t hold back his grudges against the party’s selection of candidates. Though he refuted reports of his quitting the party, Chhotepur mentioned that he was upset to see the state of affairs as at some seats, there were wrong choices made and the resentment prevailed among the party cadre. Then, the AAP workers and circle level leaders stood against the candidate selected for Bathinda (Rural). They went on announcing to go against the official candidate in the polls, which was now followed by another declaration by the party’s unit in Payal assembly segment in Ludhiana district. Let’s see which way the wind blows in days ahead.
The race for claims in BJP
There is a kind of tussle within BJP to claim the Central help to Himachal Pradesh. While the father and the son duo, former BJP Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and BJP MP from Hamirpur Anurag Thakur are quicker than many other leaders to make it public that they have been pleading the cause of Himachal before the Centre on particular issues. Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda, too, has joined the race with them. Recently, the media in Shimla got three simultaneous releases- one by Dhumal, another by Anurag and the third one by Nadda on the Central approval of hydro-engineering college in Bilaspur, which happened to be in Nadda’s home constituency (assembly) in HP and Anurag’s Parliamentary constituency. Who wins this race for supremacy in HP in the run-up to 2017 assembly polls? The question has already confused the BJP rank-and-file much.
‘Mooch ka sawaal’
High drama prevailed as the students of SD College-32 along with ABVP leaders called for the suspension of the area SHO for threatening them to lower their ‘Khundiyan Moochan’ (upturned moustaches). Protesting over the ‘arrogant’ behaviour of the SHO, the students protested for around two hours as the cop had also pulled out a few ABVP supporters out of campus for entering the college premises without ID cards as they were outsiders. The matter was resolved after both the parties entered into a compromise.
Bleeding state coffers dry
The locked doors of certain boards and commissions set up by Punjab government stole the limelight recently as questions marks have been raised over their very existence. During a visit last week, Daily Post found that offices of the chairman of traders board, vice chairman and chairman of small traders board were locked and no one was available there to listen to grievances. Similarly, at the office of Dalit Vikas Board, a fourth class employee was present to attend to the public. The functioning of such similar bodies is not far different with no record being maintained since months.
Tough task ahead
Both Congress and SAD-BJP will have to pull up their socks in Balachaur assembly segment as after the announcement of a very strong contender, Brig (Retd) Raj Kumar for the seat by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), party workers seem to be quite upbeat and buoyed. In the past, the contest on this seat has always been, as elsewhere in Punjab, between the Congress and SAD-BJP and the present incumbent CPS Chaudhary Nand Lal has been the winner for the last consecutive four terms mainly due to the severe in-fighting in the Congress camp. However, the scenario is set to change with AAP being in the field this time and the party having fielded a retired Brigadier with a “very strong and profound profile” (as the AAP workers put it) for the seat. Further, though AAP’s volunteers had named as many as 15 persons as their choice for the seat, except one or two including another retired Armyman, all have veered together around the Brigadier.
Contributed by: Rajay Deep, Rajeev Ranjan Roy, Archana Phull,Pankaj Dhiman, Verinder Sareen and Jagpreet Singh.
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