Regional buzz: From Amarinder and Sidhu’s social media presence to Vikramaditya’s new role
Keeping tabs on power politics in Punjab, Haryana, Hiamchal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.punjab Updated: Dec 25, 2017 11:27 IST
Garrulous ‘sherry on topp’, but quiet on social media
Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh is going places on social media, taking on his political rivals and sending subtle — and sometimes not-so-subtle — messages to party leaders. But his cabinet colleague, tourism and local government minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who also has a huge following online, is unusually quiet on social media. The garrulous cricketer-turned-politician has not shared any post from his Twitter handle @sherryontopp having 3.49 lakh followers in the past 11 months. His last tweet was a video of his speech at a Congress rally in January this year during the campaign for the state assembly elections. On Facebook too, he has not been active this year. But his knack for making headlines remains intact, as he does not let go of any opportunity to hit out at Akalis, besides taking subtle swipes at the chief minister.
Amritsar gains from double effort
Amritsar residents have a big advantage, thanks to attempts by its Lok Sabha MP Gurjit Singh Aujla and Rajya Sabha MP Shwait Malik, who also belongs to the city, to outdo each other. While Aujla is from the Congress, Malik belongs to the BJP. As both parties are in power, the MPs are giving a push to development projects in the holy city. Though they keep trying to corner credit, the city has benefited from “double efforts” being made for its growth, especially the focus on Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport, railway station and other projects being executed with the involvement of centre. Already, the direct Amritsar-Nanded flight has become a reality.
At 28, Vikramaditya Singh, son of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, is the youngest legislator in the new assembly.
Bains’ video against corruption
Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) chief Simarjeet Singh Bains knows the art of trending on social media. The Atam Nagar legislator often puts videos online or holds live interaction with supporters and they go viral. The latest LIP MLA’s videos to trend on the social media are about his “fight against corruption” and the protests he holds. “Aun wale time ch mava keha krngia, putt paise laine band krdo nahi ta Bains ajuga (In time to come, mothers will say son do not take bribe otherwise Bains will come),” one of his supporters can be heard saying in a video.
Rath vs cycle in Haryana
The latest discussion in Haryana Congress is on a race between a cycle and a rath (chariot). Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has announced to take out a “rath yatra” and state unit president Ashok Tanwar has decided to take out a cycle rally in all the 90 assembly segments. “Who do you think would win in the race?” is the question being flung in place of greetings by several of the party workers. They may or may not say it aloud, but what they are eager to find out is as to who would score in days to come. The two leaders, who do not see eye to eye, have been holding their separate programmes. And, their rivalry is expected to intensify in days to come.
Khattar’s no to favouritism
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has given a clear message to party workers that his government won’t show any favour in government appointments. “The appointments will be made on the basis of qualifications and merit. We cannot favour the children of party workers as everyone has equal right on government jobs,” the CM said at a press conference when he told that the BJP workers were not happy about not being given importance in government appointments. He said the government had ended discrimination in recruitment. “We have asked party workers to prepare their children for competition so that they can compete and get job on merit,” he insisted.
No defence against unruly crowd
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was in Shimla along with her cabinet colleague rural development minister Narendra Singh Tomar to gather feedback from newly elected MLAs and others on their choice for the chief minister’s post, was upset over the way in which unruly party supporters jostled to felicitate them at the state-run Hotel Peterhoff. Known for speaking her mind, Sitharaman stopped on her way to the meeting venue and warned the youth trying to push their way through the crowd.
Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has announced to take out a “rath yatra” and state unit president Ashok Tanwar has decided to take out a cycle rally in all the 90 assembly segments.
Bali refuses to face hard truth
The Himachal assembly elections saw many bigwigs from both Congress and BJP taste defeat. All have humbly accepted the people’s verdict except one. Former transport minister GS Bali, who lost to a one-time protégé in his stronghold Nagrota Bagwan, has alleged rigging in counting. He has also pointed the finger at the Election Commission, alleging that the activities of its poll observer were suspicious. Bali demanded a re-poll on certain booths where he alleged that the electronic voting machines were compromised. But he is not finding much support in his own party.
Donning a new role
At 28, Vikramaditya Singh, son of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, is the youngest legislator in the new assembly. He got elected from Shimla assembly segment. The Himachal Youth Congress chief was quick to update his profile by adding his newly acquired status – MLA, Shimla rural legislator – to it. He also headed to his assembly constituency to express gratitude to voters.
Pandey’s pleasant gesture
Bihar health minister Mangal Pandey, who is in-charge of BJP affairs in Himachal Pradesh, knows how to give due regard to party leaders. When he was addressing party supporters in Hotel Peterhoff from the dais the other day, Pandey noticed Shimla mayor Kusum Sadrate sitting among the workers. He immediately called the mayor to the dais, asking the leaders to make space for her. The party workers responded with applause.
(Contributed by Navneet Sharma, Sarbmeet Singh, Surjit Singh, Rajesh Moudgil, Neeraj Mohan, Gaurav Bisht and Naresh K Thakur)