Regional buzz: Congress’ selfies, Bains’ tweets

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jun 27, 2016 14:18 IST
Illustration by Daljeet Kaur Sandhu

Selfie le le re

After interacting with Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh during the ‘Halke Vich Captain’ event at Jagraon this week, villagers jostled with each other to get a selfie clicked with him, much to the chagrin of the senior leaders. As leaders kept insisting that Captain has to proceed for lunch, the villagers refused to listen and dispersed only after multiple clicks.

What’s Udta Punjab?

No prizes for guessing who has not seen the Bollywood film Udta Punjab despite rave reviews. It’s Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal. He was also not at all happy when asked this question. “ I have no time to waste watching films that spread falsehood about Punjab,” he retorted. Otherwise a big film buff, Sukhbir made sure he stuck to his belief that the movie maligned Punjab more than doing any good in generating awareness about the problem of drug addiction.

Twitter man Bains

Punjab chief minister’s media adviser Harcharan Bains has recently discovered the Twitter and has gone into an overdrive tweeting about anything and everything about Punjab. He took on those who regaled Udta Punjab for showing the reality of the state by launching a counter drive of tweeting about Punjab sportspersons who had achieved success internationally. But his free-run on Twitter was halted by former Congress leader Jagmeet Singh Brar who took him on over the drug issue. The battle soon turned political and finally both gave up --- but not before having tagged a host of Punjab journalists to their comments who thoroughly enjoyed their mutual recrimination.

Poll burden on PR machinery

A new order by the Punjab government for the state information and public relations officers based in Chandigarh to accompany the ministers and chief parliamentary secretaries is giving sleepless night to officials. At a time when the ruling coalition is faced with a high-stake assembly election, some burden, it seems, is being passed on to the PR department.

Politics at play

A day after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hinted at introducing a policy on providing conducive environment to government school teachers after coming to power in Punjab , the ruling coalition government seem to have taken a cue from it. Punjab education minister Daljit Singh Cheema has invited transfer applications from teachers who have a family problem, are differently abled or any member of their family is differently abled. Cheema, on his part, said the idea came to him on Sunday morning and he invited applications from such teachers.

Changing political loyalties

Politics and politicians can be very unpredictable. In the recent Rajya Sabha election in Haryana, lawyer RK Anand, who contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Faridabad on an INLD ticket, was fielded as an Independent candidate. Anand’s nomination was proposed by INLD MLA from Faridabad NIT, Nagender Bhadana and seconded by other INLD MLAs. But when the D-day came, Bhadana switched sides and voted for BJP-backed media baron, Subhash Chandra. Though it was known all along that Bhadana had turned a rebel and would change sides, the INLD leadership and the MLA itself played to the gallery by getting the latter to propose Anand’s nomination.

Panel under fire over swanky hotel stay

The Shimla visit of the joint parliamentary committee on office of profit headed by PP Chawdhary created a lot of buzz . The members enjoyed a luxurious stay at the high-end Hotel Wild Flower Hall, Chharabra .Committee members failed to elicit a proper response when asked why the committee on office of profit had to put up in such a swanky hotel. “I have no problem I can sleep anywhere, even inside a car,” said Aam Admi Party Lok Sabha member Bhagwant Singh Mann, who was partof the visiting team. But it surprised many that the state government preferred to arrange the stay of committee members at a private hotel, instead of its flagship facility — Peterhoff.

Rao’s yoga blues

The Bharatiya Janata Party pulled out all stops to make the second International Yoga Day celebrations a grand affair. BJP ensured that all state leaders made their presence felt in their respective areas. Minister for the state for defence Rao Inderjit Singh, who was on a visit to Himachal, shared the mat with former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal at a yoga camp at Vikasnagar in Shimla . However, Rao found the bending exercises a tough task and was seen sitting on a chair while other BJP leaders tried to perform ‘asanas’.

Age no bar for this dancing duo

Himachal Pradesh’s octogenarian Congress leaders, Vidya Stokes, 86, and chief minister Virbhadra Singh, 83, once againproved that age has no bar in politics. Stokes was first amongst Congress leaders to reach Holly Lodge, Virbhadra’s private residence, to wish him. Once bitter rivals, Stokes and Singh have now come closer and are seen batting for each other. Stokes not only attended the birthday celebrations but also announced that Virbhadra Singh will become the chief Minister for the seventh time . What’s more, the duo also danced on a “pahari” folk numbers.

Monkey business

The Himachal government over the years has been mulling strategies to curb the burgeoning monkey population in the state. Recently, forest minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri sought suggestions from people on how to curb the menace. However, Bharmouri was left speechless when a forest official he had called to his office said he got late as a monkey had snatched his spectacles when he had gone to the famous Jakhu temple to pay obeisance.

(Contributed by Chitleen K Sethi, Gurpreet Singh Nibber, Arjun Sharma, Hitender rao, Gaurav Bisht)

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