Regional buzz: Pay a bomb to dine with AAP’s Bhagwant Mann
Keeping tab on the power politics in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.punjab Updated: Oct 24, 2016 12:23 IST
Pay a bomb to dine with Mann
Non-resident Punjabis are eagerly waiting for Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP from Sangrur Bhagwant Mann’s visit to North America in the first week of November. A fund-raising dinner has been scheduled in Surrey, Canada, on November 6 for which the cost of coupons for two persons for dinner with Mann is Canadian $1,000 (equivalent to Rs 50,000) whereas the normal entry ticket cost is $100. The event has drawn mixed reactions on social media where critics have panned the whopping cost of dinner. But there are also many who are supporting it. “Dinner cost is no problem, but I am going to put some tough questions to him,” said a Surrey-based Punjabi.
Does Diet Coke work? Ask its Punjab ‘brand ambassadors’
One thing that is common between Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh and Akali Dal president and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal is their love for Diet Coke. Cans of the beverage are stocked in SUVs of both the leaders whenever they tour or stop by for lunch.
During his recent ‘Kisan Yatra’ aboard a customised hi-tech bus, Amarinder preferred Diet Coke over a bottle of packaged water. “The bottled water tastes like liquor,” he told the team travelling with him. As for Sukhbir, many are curious to know if Diet Coke actually works! “Sukhbir seems to be only gaining weight,” many quip in media and political circles.
Field first, Amritsar police chief’s advice to his juniors
Taking guard, the new Amritsar police commissioner Lok Nath Angra asked the cops to move out of the comfort of their offices and make their presence felt in the field. In his first round of meetings, Angra gave instructions that 50% of the staff deputed in offices be assigned field duties. The idea is not only to increase deployment on the roads, but also keep a check on overstaffing in select few offices. The commissioner’s order has created a flutter in the police corridors.
Bishnois are cricket buffs
A cricket aficionado, Congress MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi was flooded with congratulatory messages after his cricketer son did well in a Ranji trophy match last week. When Chaitanya Bishnoi, a left-hand batsman, scored a half century for Haryana, Kuldeep, like any doting parent, posted a tweet. “A very mature knock of 73 by Chaitanya Bishnoi and excellent bowling 6/44 by Yuzvendra Chahal puts #Haryana in command against #Hyderabad,” he wrote to enthusiastic comments and good wishes from his followers. His elder son, Bhavya Bishnoi, has also played some first-class matches for Oxford University.
Abhay won’t let BJP hijack golden jubilee event
INLD leader Abhay Chautala is willing to be part of the state government’s grand plans for Haryana’s golden jubilee celebrations. But he is averse to the ruling BJP using the occasion to tom-tom its “so-called achievements”. Replying to a related question at a press conference last week, Abhay said: “If the BJP recounts its achievements at these functions, I will hold press conference the very next day to list out its failures’’. He paused briefly and added that he would recount the state government failures department-wise.
‘Ill-prepared’ Haryana department heads
Headed by chief secretary Depinder Singh Dhesi, the committee which examined the recommendations of 7th central pay commission gave an opportunity to departments, employees’ associations and unions to voice their suggestions before giving its report. When the turn of government departments came, a few heads of departments (HoDs) turned up in full strength with officials whose pay scales were to be discussed. But the pay committee members wanted to hear it from the department heads only. On being told that he has to present the case, one IAS officer, who had brought along half-a-dozen officials of his department, was not too happy and tried to convince the committee members. But it did not help. All he needed was a little preparation.
HP BJP leaders’ efforts to woo Modi fall flat
At ‘Parivartan Rally’ in Mandi, BJP leaders tried their best to please Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal compared him to “Lord Rama”. Hailing the surgical strikes, Dhumal said the rally had been organised to felicitate Lord Rama who had returned to Ayodhya after killing Ravana. Mandi MP Ram Swaroop described the PM as Lord Krishna, saying he had come to give gifts to his friend Sudama. The MP repeatedly called himself Sudama, saying he need not make any demand to Lord Krishna. However, what must have dismayed them is that Modi did not make any announcement for the state.
Modi jibe at Virbhadra rattles CM’s son
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh surprised BJP leaders when he reached Mandi’s Paddal Ground to oversee the arrangements for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally. However, in his speech, Modi did not spare Virbhadra over his corruption cases. He heaped praise on former chief ministers Shanta Kumar and Prem Kumar Dhumal. “Everyone knows what the present CM is known for,” Modi said, referring to Virbhadra, who was in town at that time. The dig rattled the CM’s supporters. And his son, Himachal Youth Congress president Vikramaditya Singh, was the first to defend him. Vikramaditya not only spoke in defence of his father, but announced to hold a rally in Kangra to counter the BJP show.
(Contributed by Sukhdeep Kaur, Gurpreet Singh Nibber, Aseem Bassi, Navneet Sharma, Rajesh Moudgil and Gaurav Bisht)