SIDHU’S ‘CHAI PE CHARCHA’
Former BJP member of Parliament from Amritsar and now the Congress candidate from Amritsar East Navjot Singh Sidhu chose to start his Sunday with a stroll, little bit of badminton, volleyball and finally cricket in the local Company Bagh Gardens. The cricketer-turned-politician, who switched sides a week ago, may have left the Bharatiya Janata Party to hold the Congress hand, but that did not stop him from participating in “chai pe charcha” at the popular Giani Tea Stall. Sidhu sat down with people for a cup of tea and an engaging conversation.
DRUGS DIVIDE BJP, SAD
In its election manifesto released on Sunday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has promised a drugfree Punjab, an issue that is anathema to its ally the Shiromani Akali Dal which denies drug problem in the state. The BJP has promised more de-addiction centres and free medicines to addicts. “No doubt the problem is exaggerated, but reality can’t be denied, so we have offered a solution,” said a BJP leader.
BJP SLIPUP ON ‘GHEE’
To err, they say, is human. But not all errors are embarrassing. A few can be delicious and beneficial too. When the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its manifesto on Sunday, its official press note said the party would provide ‘desi ghee’ to blue card holders at Rs 25 a kilogram. Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal, whose Shiromani Akali Dal is in alliance with the BJP, later clarified that regular ghee, not desi, would be given at cheaper rates. At the time of release of manifesto, BJP’s manifesto committee head Kamal Sharma was clueless about how the words, desi ghee, got into the press release. “Where is desi ghee? We will give normal ghee,” he said. Later, it emerged that the media team of state secretary Vineet Joshi had slipped up. When the matter reached Punjab BJP chief Vijay Sampla and other party bigwigs, they stood by the press release, saying that the next SAD-BJP government would give ‘desi’ ghee.
(Ravinder Vasudeva, Aseem Bassi and Gurpreet Singh Nibber)