Regional buzz: Politicans indulge in cock-fights, says Badal | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Regional buzz: Politicans indulge in cock-fights, says Badal

chandigarh Updated: Jul 13, 2015 13:13 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
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Badal said that people in a profession generally supoprted one another unlike politicians who fight like kukkads (cocks) (Illustration Daljeet Kaur Sandhu/HT)

Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, while interacting with the media at the Chandigarh Press Club on its founder’s day on Sunday, said people in a profession generally supported one another unlike politicians who fight like kukkads (cocks) to the extent of killing one another. The way politicians function nowadays has changed as they wanted only positions, portfolios, cars and beacons, Badal said.

A tough ask

Punjab health minister Surjit Jyani had a difficult start to the week. Jyani had just recouped from a back problem and then he had to climb two floors in the main secretariat to “check” the employees’ canteen on the 10th floor. The lift does not go beyond the 8th floor. Jyani huffed and puffed up the stairs and by the time he reached the canteen he was exhausted. On top of that, he did not find anything amiss there. There were no rats, not even cockroaches for the minister to point out. The food seemed good and the canteen was as clean as it could be at lunch hour. The solace for the minister was the view of the city from the 10th floor which he soaked in while having lunch in the canteen.


Meticulous planning

That some bureaucrats are “self-serving and scheming beings” is well known, but there are some who seem to have left others far behind in planning their bureaucratic future. And their favourite bedtime reading is the gradation list where he or she features against a particular slot which slowly moves up with promotions. Most of them meticulously plan their (and their children’s future) on the basis of where they will be in a few years. One such bureaucrat is said to have given himself several promotions at one go, marking many of his seniors as ‘LTD’ in his personal copy of the gradation list. No one knew what it meant till one day he spilled the beans. It meant “likely to die”. He had calculated his senior’s age, his health, constitution and possible ailments to come to the conclusion.


Publicity hungry

Positive or negative, publicity is the lifeline of some politicians. Ludhiana Congress Committee president Gurpreet Gogi Bassi appears to enjoy the limelight he is getting due to the ongoing strife between the two factions of the party. Despite being named as one of the persons responsible for widening the rift by a cross-section of the media, Bassi does not forget to express his gratitude to journalists. His favourite one-liner, “Bass apne bhara da naam chamka deyio (Please, highlight the name of this brother of yours), has become popular in media circles. When a scribe wrote a hard-hitting report against him and on Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa’s role in his out-of-turn elevation, Bassi thanked the journalist with folded hands. “Behenji, tussi bahut wadiya likhiya hei...balle balle kara ditti saadi (Sister, your write-up was too good and you have made me a hero),” he said without having understood the import of the report.


Helping other leaders

Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, while interacting with the media on Sunday, claimed that he had always helped fellow politicians from other parties. He cited the example of Congress leader Harcharan Singh Brar whom he had helped become the Haryana governor in 1977, during his first tenure as the Punjab CM. “He (Brar) told me that Odisha was far and he was looking for a place nearer home. I helped him become the Haryana governor by requesting then PM Morarji Desai,” Badal said, adding that he had the credit of being the youngest and the oldest CM of a state. Brar later became the Punjab CM in August 1995.


Advice to young politicians

As Parkash Singh Badal advised journalists to focus on positive and developmental reporting, he also asked the younger politicians to desist from getting angry at the media in case something was written against them. “If something is written against them, the young politicians get angry and even resort to stopping advertisements to newspapers, which is not the right way to deal with it,” Badal said.
Seeking support

Young Congress leaders are busy canvassing for the Punjab Youth Congress elections this month. As prospective candidates are logging on to Facebook and using WhatsApp to reach out to their supporters, a short film talking about former president of Panjab University and NSUI national coordinator Dalvir Singh Goldy, one of the contestants, is circulating on the Internet. The video, which lists his achievements in college and university days as well as the contribution made through his NGO, Ashiward foundation, is being shared on the social media.


CM’s bus ride

The recent ride by Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar in a Volvo bus operated by the Haryana Roadways began with a flat tyre. As the luxury bus moved out of the Sector 17 Inter-State Bus Terminus, the driver noticed a lack of air pressure in one of the tyres. The nervous driver informed the chief minister’s staff and security about the problem. The security agreed to have the tyre replaced at the Haryana Roadways workshop in the industrial area. The driver then drove the Volvo at a slow pace to the workshop where Khattar interacted with the employees. Besides speaking to mediapersons who were on board to cover his bus ride, the chief minister talked to passengers to take their feedback on the state of affairs.


Following sports policy

Haryana sports and health minister Anil Vij has refused to name a village stadium after the father-in-law of Congress veteran leader and former UP chief minister ND Tiwari. “Tiwari had requested the state government that the stadium at Beri village be named after his father-in-law Prof Sher Singh, but his request could not be accepted as it was against the state’s sports policy,” said the minister. According to the policy, sports complexes in the
state can be named only after martyrs such as Bhagat Singh. Though the minister did not say it, the government perhaps did not consider the proposal because of the controversies that dogged the former chief minister.


Indifferent police

Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Singh Chautala is flummoxed over the police functioning in Haryana, especially in his hometown Sirsa. In Chandigarh the other day to address a press conference, he narrated an incident to decry the functioning of the men in khaki. “We were at home and a man who was apparently drunk drove his car right inside our house, almost hurting the personal security officer of my nephew (Hisar MP) Dushyant Chautala. We handed over the person to the police,” said the Ellenabad MLA. He said when he asked the superintendent of police the next day about the action taken, the latter feigned ignorance.
Not keen on UT

Unlike the IAS officers, the Haryana Civil Service (HCS) officers are not eager to join the Chandigarh administration on deputation. When the Haryana government sent a panel of 12 HCS officers for posting in Chandigarh, the UT administration decided to hold interviews. While six of them told the administration that they were not keen to join the city team, two other HCS officers did not turn up for interview. But the most curious is the case of an HCS officer whose mother called up a senior bureaucrat in Chandigarh and requested him not to appoint her son in the UT administration. Her son has already served once in the city earlier. The UT officer did not know how to respond to such requests.


Toeing a different line

BJP veteran leader Shanta Kumar always takes a different line from the party unit in the state. When the CBI recently started a preliminary inquiry against CM Virbhadra Singh, the saffron party went after him all guns blazing. However, the octogenarian leader was soft on him. “Virbhadra Singh is a respected leader. If he is innocent, he should not worry,” he said. Now with an audio CD involving state health minister Kaul Singh Thakur surfacing, the former CM has come down heavily on those involved in the leak. He not only termed it a new low in Himachal politics, but also demanded stern action against those involved in the illegal tapping. His moves have left his party colleagues jittery.
Minister reacts

After the audio CD containing the alleged telephonic conversation involving health minister Kaul Singh Thakur rocked the state last week, the minister held a press conference, blaming a close confidant of CM Virbhadra Singh for the “leak”. When asked whether the CM considered him a potential political threat, he parried the query, saying Virbhadra should be asked the question. However, his outburst and oblique references did not leave much to imagination.

(Contributed by Chitleen K Sethi, Anshu Seth, Gurpreet Nibber, Monica Sharma, Rajesh Moudgil, Gaurav Bisht and Naresh K Thakur)

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