FROM ‘TOPIWALA’ TO ‘CHINA-MADE TOY’, AKALIS HAVE VARIOUS NAMES FOR KEJRIWAL
Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal loves to call Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal a ‘topi wala’. His colleague Prem Singh Chandumajra, MP from Anandpur Sahib, gave the AAP national convener another sobriquet at an election rally in Gharhshankar on Saturday. He called Kejriwal a ‘China-made toy’. “Jiwein China de khidonein sadak te paye hi sohne lagde ne, ghar aa ke ikk din vi nahin chalde, eh Kejriwal ne vi Punjab aa ke ikk din ch thuss ho jana hai”, he told the gathering. Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who was present on the dais, also looked amused at the political punch.
General JJ Singh (retired), who is contesting against Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh, has quickly earned himself a new name, ‘Knockout General’, among the Akalis in Patiala. The reason: He doesn’t listen to anyone in the party. The former army chief, according to party insiders, plans his own campaign, depending entirely on two persons - his cousin Bhupinder Singh Sahni and a one-time army colleague Brigadier Ramesh Bhatia (retired). “After a video in which the general announced to knock down his opponents went viral, he got the name. Everyone now calls him ‘Knockout General’. behind his back,” said one of one of them. General JJ, according to him, seems excited about the contest and his prospects against the former chief minister.
GREWAL’S 20-YEAR-WAIT FOR TICKET ENDS
BJP leader Harjit Singh Grewal’s long wait is over. After waiting for 20 years, he has finally got the BJP ticket from Rajpura. Associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from his teenage, Grewal used to sport a ponytail and started tying a turban in late 1990s, hoping for the party ticket. He managed to get the nomination this time, but not the constituency of his choice. The BJP leader, who has held several positions in the party from time to time, wanted to contest from Barnala, but his party could not swap the seat with Akalis..
‘MODI-FICATION’ OF HARYANA’S OFFICIAL DIARY
Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) was not the only one to put Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photograph on its 2017 calendar and table diary. The BJP government in Haryana has also featured him in its official diary for officers and other staff. The diary has 12 photographs – one for every month – and Modi is in seven of them. The pictures are mostly from the mega show held by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Gurugram on November 1 last year to launch the year-long celebrations of Haryana’s golden jubilee. Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki and chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar also feature in some photographs. The diary has the official logo – a white conch and a chariot carrying Lord Krishna and Arjuna – of the Swarna Jayanti programme on cover. And, it will be distributed to all the state employees as per the announcement made by the state authorities.
PRAISE FOR KARNAL MP’S BETTER HALF
Haryana governor Kaptan Singh Solanki floored the gathering with his witty address on the occasion of the release of a coffee table book titled ‘Betiyan’ authored and compiled by Kiran Chopra, chairperson, Varishth Nagrik Kesri Club, and wife of Karnal member of Parliament Ashwini Chopra. Solanki not only lauded her work, but also told the MP that he was greatly impressed by her oratory skills. The governor said though both Ashwini and Kiran spoke well, if he were to judge them in an oratory contest, he would have given first prize to the latter. Solanki went on to say in lighter vein that in his view Kiran Chopra would have made a better MP than Ashwini.
GOYAL TAKES POTSHOTS AT BABU
Union coal and power minister Piyush Goyal usually talks business, but he had the audience in splits with some tongue-in cheek remarks at the first Pravasi Haryana Divas function held in Gurugram last week. He took a not-so-subtle dig at a Haryana IAS officer who sang the praises of chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar for his citizen-centric initiatives, especially push to e-governance, to improve administrative efficiency in the state. When the minister’s turn came to speak, he said the officer (who still has a few years of service left) appears to be preparing to join politics after retirement.
KHATTAR GOES DOWN THE MEMORY LANE
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar went down the memory lane during an interaction with mediapersons the other day. Asked if he had ever imagined that he’d become a CM one day, Khattar recalled how he as a class V student laughed at his teacher’s inspirational speech and the teacher asked him the reason. Khattar said he asked his teacher how a village lad could achieve big. The teacher gave examples of former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri who had to swim across a river to reach his school, and former US president Abraham Lincoln who used to study under street light, as they were born in poor families. “That day, I, for the first time, thought that I could do something good in the society and later joined RSS’’, he reminisced.
‘DANGAL’ OVER VIRBHADRA SINGH’S MOVIE OUTING
Amid his whirlwind tour of assembly segments in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh took a short break to watch a movie. The CM, who spent most of his time interacting with people, watched Aamir Khan’s Dangal in Nurpur town. The movie outing gave a chance to the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to hit out at the octogenarian chief minister. BJP leader Prem Kumar Dhumal flayed the Congress government for failing to tackle the situation post snowfall in Shimla, the state capital. “While people are suffering after heavy snowfall, the CM is enjoying in Dharamshala and going for a movie show,” he said.
LORD KRISHNA MAY ALSO VANISH
After a controversy erupted over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo on the diaries and calendar of KVIC, chief minister Virbhadra Singh was quick to slam him. The CM, while addressing a public meeting in Kangra, termed the move “deliberate and an attempt to divert the attention from failures” of the central government. “Abhi to Bapuji hi gayab hue hain. Mujhe dar hai kanhi bhagwan Krishna ko bhi gayab na kar dein (Now only Bapuji has vanished. I afraid they may make Lord Krishna disappear),” he quipped.
HP BABUS TAKE A CHILL PILL
Heavy snowfall in Shimla after a gap of 26 years and threw life out of gear, snapping water supply, and communication and electricity lines. The much-hyped disaster mitigation plans of the Congress government were also exposed. But most ministers and top officials stayed away from the state capital. Those who stayed back struggled to cope with the piercing cold wave. When a peon entered an IAS officer’s room to hand over the new official calendar and dairy, he responded: “Arey yeh dairy aur calendar kya karna hai. Aap pehley heater ka intezaam kariye (What do I do with diary and calendar. You first arrange a heater)”.
(CONTRIBUTED BY HARPREET KAUR, GUPREET SINGH NIBBER, NAVNEET SHARMA, RAJESH MOUDGIL, NARESH K THAKUR AND GAURAV BISHT)