WHEN SAD BLAMED ITSELF FOR SACRILEGE!
‘Congress and SAD responsible for sacrilege in Punjab: Sukhbir Badal’. Read that again. No, the SAD president was not being self-aware! It was a spelling error in the press release sent by his party to journalists after his rally in Bhucho Mandi segment of Bathinda district on Saturday. The strap line in the press release, however, made up for it by naming the AAP as accused of disrespecting religious texts. But there was another, relatively minor, bloomer too. While the party candidate from Bhucho is Harpreet Singh Kotbhai, the press note, undersigned by Sukhbir’s media adviser Jangveer Singh, said the rally was in favour of Balvir Singh Ghunas, who is fighting from Bhadaur. A revised version followed 18 minutes later, with the corrections made, of course!
The lush wheat and bright yellow mustard fields against the blue and grey sky make January the best time to cruise through Punjab’s countryside. This time, however, the elections have added colour to the landscape with party flags of all hues fluttering above houses along the GT Road. Punjab’s voters take pride in declaring their loyalty, literally from the rooftop. So if there’s the tricolour ‘panja (hand of the Congress)’ making a statement, the saffron ‘takdi (the SAD-BJP symbol of scales)’ is not to be left behind. But this time it’s interesting to see supporters of the blue and white flag of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party making the jhadu’s (broom) presence felt too. Counting the flags doesn’t help because it’s a colourful mix out there. Wait till March 11 to find out which colour counts.
SUKHBIR’S SLIP OF TONGUE
Addressing a rally at Barnala on Saturday, deputy chief minister made a slip of the tongue. “Badi mushkil naal assin Punjab di aman shanti bhang keeti hai (We have worked hard to disturb the peace in Punjab),” he said when he was advising the voters not to fall in the AAP trap, whose leaders, he said, were “naxalites”.
Congress MP and party candidate from Jalalabad Ravneet Bittu, in his speech at the Rahul’s rally on Saturday talked about nepotism in the Akali Dal. Bittu said that he, a grandson of former CM Beant Singh who was killed by militants, is from a family of “martyrs”, the Badals’s clan is that of “looters”. Also, the otherwise hardly-mentioned Beant Singh made an appearance on the posters.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Ajj main Jalalabad jaake aayan. Sukhbir Badal tinn number te aa gaya. Je Waheguru di kirpa rahi taan Baba (CM Parkash Singh Badal) vi chheti hi tinn number te aa jau (Today, I visited Jalalabad where Sukhbir has come down to the third slot. With God’s blessings, CM Badal will also come down to the third slot soon).
Capt Amarinder Singh, state Congress chief, at a rally in Nihal Singh Wala (Moga)
(Text by Yojana Yadav, Aarish Chhabra, Gaurav Sagar Bhaskar, Navrajdeep Singh)