When cops tried to put a spoke in Saini’s wheels
Novelty invites misunderstanding sometimes. BJP legislator Pawan Saini, who pedalled from his Ladwa assembly constituency in Kurukshetra to Chandigarh for the assembly session on Friday, knows it. He was stopped by police personnel at least twice. As he was coming out of the assembly premises after the session, the MLA was asked by the traffic policemen, who did not recognise him, to get aside so that the luxury vehicles of ministers and legislators could make a smooth exit. When Saini told them that he was a ruling party legislator, the cops quickly corrected themselves, saying that they were only cautioning him about the coming vehicles. Earlier in the day too, Saini and his supporters were stopped by the Chandigarh police near airport. “They stopped us because I had a Tricolour flag tied to the bicycle handle. They probably mistook us for some kind of protesters,’’ he said. A physician by profession, the MLA is fond of cycling and has been going from village to village in his assembly constituency on a bicycle.
Badal Sr missing from SAD’s online campaign
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal is the face of his party and its main vote-getter. But he is missing from the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal’s effort to win public support on social media. The party has started an aggressive campaign on social networking sites, involving members of the Youth Akali Dal to connect with the youth. The team was given a booklet on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp operating commands. The brief is to generate online support for deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia, SAD and the state government.
Sukhbir take potshots at Captain, AAP
At a meeting with the traders’ association on Friday, Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal lost no opportunity to take a dig at the Congress and the AAP. “Raja (referring to Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder) jadon mukh mantri si, tan vi kade Ludhiana ainna nai aaya. Han ek vaar aaya si, Satluj Club taash khedan” (When Captain was CM, he never came to Ludhiana. Yes, he came once to play cards at Satluj Club). Then, he then mocked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), saying “eh topi waliyon nu na lai aana, tuhaada sara kam band kar denge (if you bring those donning cap to power, your businesses will shut down)”.
Bhundar’s advice to Sukhbir: Be a people’s person
Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal made a short trip to Mansa on Thursday to lay the foundation stone of a road. Akali Rajya Sabha MP Balwinder Singh Bhundar, who was also present, told the deputy CM: “The chief minister (Parkash Singh Badal) and I have served the state for as many years as is your age. So, don’t get tired and try to be among the people as you are still young.” The MP also asked him not to be in a rush to board his chopper. “Even your wife Harsimrat Badal travels to Delhi by road. Try to attend to the people in order to resolve their issues,” he said in a lighter vein. His remarks were received warmly by those present. The deputy CM also looked unperturbed.
Punjab BJP chief’s motivational tale
BJP’s Punjab affairs in-charge Prabhat Jha narrated a story about one Mithu Lal to his party workers at a workers’ meet in Chandigarh on Sunday. “Mithu used to note down birthdays of children from schools in his area and visit their homes with cake on their birthdays and that earned him lots of love and support from the people,” he said. The party workers sitting on the back benches were quick to exchange sly smiles with each other. “I don’t think there is anyone by this name. It is a story to motivate us,” one of them remarked. Their suspicion that Mithu is a “fictional character of a motivational story” got strengthened, as Jha also did not give any specifics on him.
Gaffes galore on Haryana CMO website
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar expanded his cabinet more than a month ago by inducting three new ministers, besides shuffling the portfolios of other members of his team. The ministers have begun working as per their new responsibilities. But the official website of the chief minister’s office (CMO), www.haryanacmoffice.gov.in, is not reflecting the changes correctly. It is rather misleading. The details of new ministers have been added, but there is an error. The state, as per CMO’s website, has two industries and commerce, and environment ministers, Capt Abhimanyu and Vipul Goel, for instance. The CM had on July 23 allocated these departments to Goel who was inducted as a cabinet-rank minister. And that’s not the only gaffe.
Capt Abhimanyu, Surjewala face off in House
Finance minister Capt Abhimanyu and Congress MLA Randeep Surjewala, both young Jat leaders, exchanged barbs on the opening day off the monsoon session of the Haryana assembly on Friday. When Surjewala sought revocation of suspension of three of his party colleagues from the House for six months for tearing copies of the governor’s address during the budget session in March this year, Abhimanyu, while speaking on the subject, began by taking a dig at the former for not being “regular” in the House. “I am happy that he has registered his presence in the House after a long time,” he said. The Congress legislator responded by saying that his adarniya mitra (respected friend) had got elected to the assembly for the first time. “We have been in the treasury benches several times,” he said, getting even without wasting much time.
Jain Muni’s witty parting shot
Jain Muni Tarun Sagar, who addressed the Haryana assembly on Friday, had the House in splits following his witty parting shot. When Congress leader and ex-chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda attempted to subtly take a dig by telling the monk that he had given his kamandal (a utensil saints use to carry water etc) to the Bharatiya Janata Party. “Main aapko bhi kuchh na kuchh to doonga, main aapko ye kuchi doonga’’ pat came the reply from Tarun Sagar who showed the fly-whisk (kuchi) he carried, to the former chief minister.
Rare bonhomie between Cong, BJP MLAs
The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) don’t usually miss any opportunity to hit out at each other. But the monsoon session of the Himachal Pradesh assembly some legislators of the two parties showed their respect for each other. When BJP MLA colonel Inder Singh (retd) asked a question on re-employment of ex-servicemen in the state, social welfare minister colonel Dhani Ram Shandil (retd) said he not only respects Inder Singh’s concern, but as a soldier he has great respect for him as well. Perhaps this rare bonhomie is because of their army background, and not political training.
Anurag faces netizens’ ire for helmetless ride
BJP MP from Hamirpur Anurag Thakur was taken to task on the social media during his Tiranga Yatra in Himachal Pradesh recently. After he was seen riding a Royal Enfield Bullet without a helmet in first leg of the yatra at Nahan in Sirmour district, the netizens questioned the young MP about the impression his action will leave on youth. With their leader riding without protective gear, several other participants also did not follow traffic rules. Thakur, who is active on social media, perhaps notice the fierce criticism. He quickly got himself a cricket helmet before setting off for the next stage of the motorcycle ride.
Maheshwar Singh trying to settle in BJP
Kullu MLA Maheshwar Singh, who merged his four-year old Himachal Lokhit Party with the BJP a fortnight ago, has not been able to adjust himself in the outfit so far. His discomfort was apparent when the BJP members staged a walkout from the House on the first day of the assembly session, condemning chief minister Virbhadra Singh for his remarks against its legislators. Though he joined the protesting MLAs, Maheshwar did not raise slogans and kept a low profile. Interestingly, his younger brother, Ayurveda minister Karan Singh, was heard telling his colleagues that Maheshwar was facing adjustment problems in the BJP.
Bali vs Bharti battle turns murky
Chief parliamentary secretary Neeraj Bharti’s veiled social media outburst against transport minister GS Bali has led to a divide among the other backward classes - a dominant group in Kangra. Their supporters are slugging it out in public and in the virtual world. The no-holds-barred battle began after a message was circulated on social media that Bharti had resorted to physical violence against another Kangra legislator and associate member of the Congress at a meet. Bharti, who denied any such incident, gave it a new twist by accusing Bali of spreading the rumour to divide the OBC community, adding fuel to the fire.
HP legislator’s finding: Stray dogs befriending monkeys!
BJP legislator from Dharampur Mahinder Singh Thakur shared some “interesting findings” in the assembly the other day. The MLA, while drawing attention of the members towards the menace of wild animals, said he has noticed that stray dogs have befriended monkeys in his constituency. Power minister Sujan Singh Pathania, known for his sense of humour, could not stop himself from responding. He said trend is no different, as BJP and Congress legislators are also friends. “They are friends only outside the assembly” is how Mahinder replied amid laughter.
(Contributed by Gurpreet Singh Nibber, Mohammad Ghazali Aneesha Sareen, Navneet Sharma, Rajesh Moudgil, Gaurav Bisht and Naresh K Thakur)