Regional buzz: Sukhbir Badal still Punjab’s deputy CM for SGPC men; Badnore fan of Narendra Modi govt’s schemes
Keeping tabs on power politics in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.punjab Updated: Oct 09, 2017 11:40 IST
Sukhbir is still ‘deputy CM sahib’ for SGPC men
It has been almost seven months since the Congress came to power in Punjab, but Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) officials still address SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal as the “deputy chief minister”. Briefing the media about illumination project at Golden Temple the other day, SGPC secretary Roop Singh said that the “deputy CM sahib” would also be there during inauguration of the project. He wasn’t the only one. Golden Temple manager Sulakhan Singh also referred to Sukhbir as deputy CM. As the SAD rules the SGPC general house, Sukhbir is at the helm of affairs of the gurdwara body. Not surprising, therefore, that whenever he visits Golden Temple, he is made to feel this way.
Must have for Salaria: The gift of gab
Swaran Salaria, the BJP candidate for the c in Punjab, is in the thick of a no-holds-barred battle. But he is yet to learn the tricks of the trade. A Mumbai-based businessman, Salaria needs to work hard on his speech-making. Addressing a gathering in Pathankot, the BJP candidate not just repeatedly referred to himself as “Salaria Sahib”. He kept fumbling for words, which didn’t go well with the audience. A SAD leader, who was there to campaign for him, did not let this pass. “Seekh jayenge bolte bolte abhi to woh galti se khud ko hi Salaria Sahib kehke adress karte hain. Abhi inhe politician banane me time lagega (Salaria will learn to address with experience. He mistakenly addresses himself as Salaria Sahib. He will take time in becoming a politician),” said the SAD leader he said, taking a dig at his public speaking skills.
Badnore a fan of Modi govt schemes
Punjab governor and UT administrator VP Singh Badnore is a (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi fan. He likes to talk about the policies introduced by the Modi government. During public functions, Badnore can be heard announcing that he would implement all these policies and the Union Territory of Chandigarh would be on top of the charts in their implementation. He also quotes facts and figures related to these schemes. A two-time former MP from Bhilwara in Rajasthan, Badnore also frequently talks about the constituency. “I feel concerned about the city (Bhilwara) as it faces acute water scarcity and scanty rainfall,” he said at a function the other day, telling Punjabis to conserve water.
Viral videos: Sidhu takes on Akalis
Punjab local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu never lets go of any opportunity to hit out at Akalis. After a video showing a former minister in a compromising position went viral, he took a dig at them in his own style. “Pehlan Akali nillian puggan karke jaane jande si, hunn nilian filman karke” (Akali were earlier known for blue turbans and now for blue (porn) films),” he said at a ‘Meet the Press’ programme in Chandigarh last week.
Hooda hits out at govt over Dadupur-Nalvi canal
Former chief minister Bhupinder Hooda last week hit out at the BJP government for scrapping the Dadupur-Nalvi canal project. He used the occasion to pat his own back. “The BJP is has been saying it will fill the pits dug up by previous governments. Now, it is apparent that there were none. The only space they found to fill up is this canal. What a strange government it is,” the Congress leader told reporters. “It is a nahar paat sarkar,” he added meaning that it would be remembered as a government which filled up the canal.
Scaling a summit in chappals: Rahul takes a dig at Modi
At a rally held in Mandi to launch the party’s poll campaign in Himachal Pradesh, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi tore into Prime Minister Narendra Modi on unemployment, dwindling economy and farmer suicides, besides his tall talk. Recalling an interview Modi gave a few years ago, Rahul said that he (Modi) had claimed to have conquered a 25,000-foot summit in “chappal” (slippers). “I wonder if he actually did it or the great miracle was only an empty boast, as India has only one peak of this height, Kanchenjunga,” he said leaving the crowd in splits.
This HP minister is a crooner
Known for theatrics, forest minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri just cannot do without song and music. At Rahul Gandhi’s Mandi rally, the former singer at All India Radio (AIR), Shimla, took the opportunity to showcase his singing talent. When Rahul arrived, the minister, who was addressing the gathering at that time, switched to a pahari song. While other leaders were busy in welcoming the chief guest, Bharmouri was crooning: “Pahadan wich dera tera sathiya, looti jande lootere (O friend! Your camp in the hills has been looted). And, many in the gathering also broke into a jig.
Rahul visit: Virbhadra camp on cloud nine
The ruling Congress’ much-touted rally has seemingly widened the fissures in the party. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s supporters are elated over AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi declaring ‘Raja Sahab’ as the party’s CM face for the elections. But those from the rival camp headed by state union president Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu have begun a whispering campaign that the party cadres and leaders were ignored at the rally. Sukhu’s men are also upset over that former Union minister Sukh Ram was not invited for the rally held on his home turf Mandi.
Poll season: It’s gupshup time in HP sectt
With the announcement of the state assembly elections expected anytime now, Himachal ministers are busy campaigning in their constituencies. The state civil secretariat wears a deserted look, as most bureaucrats do not show up post-lunch. Those who stay back in office prefer political gupshup (tete-a-tete) with colleagues over several rounds of coffee or tea to pushing files. And, the visitors are just left in the lurch. All one can hear them grumbling outside the secretariat.
Sami, Omar locked in Twitter war
Singer Adnan Sami and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah entered a twitter brawl after the latter commented on a tweet showing empty seat before the concert. The tweet by a journalist showed rows of empty seats, calling the show a “bad PR for Mehbooba government’’. Omar tweeted hoping the seats get filled soon. “Thats a pity i hope the seats are filled now. For an evening they can let music transport to a more peaceful,’’ he posted. “The empty seats and delayed start are showing what Kashmir for what it is -- empty hotels, poor governance and general public despondency,’’ Abdullah tweeted again after an agency tweeted MOS, home, Kiren Rijiju saying the concert is “showing Kashmir for what it is”’. In a series of tweets, Abdullah criticised the ministry for making the “concert a propaganda’’. The tweets didn’t go down well with Sami, Pakistani singer who was recently been Indian citizenship. He took on Abdullah, asking him why is the concert “unnerving him”’. “Bro Ur a former CM. U shouldn’t be unnerved by a music concert.U obviously have bad sources who lie to U. Here are the photos #grow up’’, tweeted Sami. The tweet got the two into full blow spat, with Sami calling Omar a “sadistic loser” who has “a fickle mind”. The ex-CM underplayed the comments saying he “has just wished the seats are filled”.
(Contributed by Surjit Singh, Nikhil Sharma, Gurpreet Singh Nibber, Rajesh Moudgil, Naresh K Thakur, Gaurav Bisht, Toufiq Rashid)