Regional buzz: Badungar ducks questions, Navjot Singh Sidhu keeps his word
“Main jo kiha oho kitta, khataak,” Sidhu announced.punjab Updated: Jul 31, 2017 12:47 IST
Ducking queries, Badungar style
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Kirpal Singh Badungar knows the art of ducking questions. And he does this particularly well over the phone. Whenever any reporter calls him, he responds to tough questions by saying “hanji...hanji...hanji” before disconnecting the phone. After numerous attempts when he again picks up the phone, he never has a straight reply, responding with philosophical answers. Many straight-talkers in the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) who land themselves in trouble could learn from him. Unlike his predecessor Avtar Singh Makkar, Badungar has an intelligent way of surviving the political turbulence.
Sidhu keeps his fire tender word
When local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu last week flagged off 11 fire tenders, he did that in the presence of MLAs in whose areas these were to be stationed. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA from Sunam Aman Arora was among them. “Main jo kiha oho kitta, khataak,” he announced. Sidhu said that Arora was the first one to get the tender as per promise as he raised the matter in Vidhan Sabha. Then, the minister quoted a verse from Ramayana: “Raghu kul reet sada chali aaye, pran jaye par vachan na jaye.”
Khemka takes on babu body
Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka, whose decision to scrap Robert Vadra’s DLF deal led to red faces in the Congress in 2012, has been rather quiet lately. But he took on the IAS Association on Twitter last week for “selective defence” of a fellow bureaucrat following a journalist’s tweet. After Shyamal Misra, a 1996-batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, was posted as joint secretary, department of commerce, on central deputation, a journalist tweeted that the bureaucrat is son in law of Nripendra Misra, principal secretary to Prime Minister. While Misra didn’t react, the tweet got sharp reactions from some other officers. The IAS Association also responded by mentioning Misra’s credentials as alumnus of IIT Kanpur and Harvard Kennedy School. “What you said had no relevance to his posting,” it posted on official Twitter handle. Khemka jumped in to question the association. “Since when has IAS Association started reacting to an officer’s posting? Is it because he is damaad shri (son in law)? Selective defence is a giveaway,” he tweeted. His remark wasn’t liked by several of his colleagues though. Not that he cares.
Teej experiment pays off
The Teej festival was celebrated at Haryana Raj Bhawan with traditional zeal and fervour. While folk dances and edibles exclusive to Teej were enjoyed by all and sundry, there were two interesting performances – a chaste Haryanvi dance performed by artistes of Telangana and the other way round. That both of them were quite liked goes without saying. It was first time that an artistic “experiment’’ like this was done at the annual event.
HP lucky for BJP’s central leaders
Himachal Pradesh, known as Dev Bhoomi, has been lucky for central leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), particularly those who have been in-charge of party affairs in the state. Narendra Modi, who remained in charge in the ‘90s and under whose tutelage the BJP-Himachal Vikas Congress (HVC) formed the first non-Congress government in HP in 1998, has never looked back since. Shrikant Sharma, a firebrand leader from Uttar Pradesh, was party in-charge for three years, was inducted as power minister by UP chief minister Yogi Aditynath four months ago. Mangal Pandey, ex-president of BJP in Bihar, replaced him, but for a short while. Pandey, who was touring HP, was called back to Patna. He also got a berth in the Nitish Kumar cabinet. Let’s see who is next?
Detractors fire fresh salvo at Himachal CM
The backlash faced by the Himachal Pradesh government after Kotkhai gangrape and murder case has come as another opportunity for chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s detractors to regroup. Leaders of the rival camp, who were lying low and looking for an opportune moment, came together at the gala event organised at Nagrota Bagwan to celebrate the birthday of transport minister GS Bali. Those in attendance included senior ministers Vidya Stokes, Kaul Singh and Dhani Ram Shandil, Vidhan Sabha speaker BBL Butail and All India Congress Committee secretary Rakesh Kalia, besides chief parliamentary secretaries Rajesh Dharmani and Sohan Lal. And this show of strength must be worrying the CM and his supporters.
Mankotia takes aim at Virbhadra
True to his nature, Congress leader Vijai Singh Mankotia has again opened a front against chief minister Virbhadra Singh. The other day, he came out all guns blazing against the CM. From corruption charges against Singh to breakdown of law and order, Mankotia raked up every issue. “Whenever a crime happens, the CM seems in a hurry to give a clean chit to culprits. By now, he must have created a record in giving clean chits,” said the retired soldier.
(Contributed by Gurpreet Singh Nibber, Navneet Sharma, Rajesh Moudgil, Gaurav Bisht and Naresh K Thakur)