MID-DAY MEAL COOKS ON POLL DUTY!
Mid-day meal cooks from government schools have a new assignment besides feeding students. In a first, they have been deployed to prepare tea and meals for the staff on duty at polling booths on February 3 and 4. School heads have to get it done.
ANAND IN ‘70%’ FIX
Even for senior Congress leaders, it has become difficult to defend the remarks of party V-P Rahul Gandhi that 70% of youth of Punjab are addicted to drugs. Rahul had made the remark in October 2012 after misreading a survey report that actually had said that 70% of the known addicts were young. On Monday, at a press conference in Jalandhar, party leader Anand Sharma quoted an AIIMS study that 1 lakh youth in the state were hooked to heroine whereas 2.33 lakhs were other addicts. But when questioned that this was way below 70%, Sharma tried his best to divert questions. Eventually, he had to be blunt: “No more question on drug issue!” A few days back, former MP Sandeep Dikshit too in Jalandhar had remarked: “If the figure of 70% were correct, some of you would have been sitting in the press conference in an inebriated condition.”
SOONDH GETS ‘FIERY’ SYMBOL
The Congress is battling fiery rebels on many seats who have decided to stay in the fray. The funds, Congress leaders believe, like last elections could be coming from SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal who reportedly met them at a hotel in Ludhiana recently. As if that was not enough to give the party sleepless nights, the poll symbol given by the Election Commission to one of the rebels, Banga MLA Tarlochan Singh Soondh, is equally fiery. In his calls and messages, Soondh is telling voters to vote for his symbol, a gas cylinder. Another rebel, Sunam’s Rajinder Deepa, is sending WhatApp messages with his symbol, tractor. The dissent in Congress may not be symbolic anymore.
SPEECH OVER SLOGANS
Sukhbir Badal faced a problem of plenty in terms of praise at a rally of SAD workers in Ludhiana on Monday evening. His speech was repeatedly drowned out by slogans of ‘Sukhbir Badal, zindabad’. Busy sharing how the Akalis plan to develop the state, he asked the party workers to tone it down. “Don’t disrupt my flow,” he said once. This, however, did not stop the workers, who again shouted the same slogans at the top of their voices after five minutes. Sukhbir then lost his cool and said, “Mainu bolan vi do, yaar! (Let me speak too!”) This finally silenced his supporters.
(By Deepa Sharma Sood, Ravinder Vasudeva, Sukhdeep Kaur and Aneesha Sareen Kumar)