Regional buzz: From Sukhbir Badal’s confused dig at Manpreet to Virbhadra’s ‘topi’ politics
Union minister for food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal kept lamenting how the present Congress government in Punjab is not encouraging food processing projects initiated by the Centre due to “obvious reasons”.punjab Updated: Sep 18, 2017 11:45 IST
Keeping tabs on power politics in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
When Harsimrat, hubby placed bets on PM scheme
As she was addressing farmers during a public meeting in Ludhiana on Tuesday, Union minister for food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal kept lamenting how the present Congress government in Punjab is not encouraging food processing projects initiated by the Centre due to “obvious reasons”. In an attempt to encourage the farmers to make use of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan SampadaYojana, Harsimrat said that she has a bet with her husband (former deputy chief minister and SAD chief) Sukhbir Badal whether the state farmers would come forward to benefit from the scheme. “He said kise ne kujh nai karna, tu aiweyin bhajji jaandi. But I told him I will show that the people of the state will come forward when they are told about it,” she said.
For Khaira, Bains Brothers bigger assets than Sidhu
Leader of opposition in Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Sukhpal Khaira, is happy that (tourism minister) Navjot Singh Sidhu is not in the Aam Aadmi Party. “He is at his right place (Congress)” was his answer when asked by mediapersons if Sidhu would have added zing to the party. “Sirf tukkan sunaun naal jan fadan maaran naal kujh ni hunda (Throwing one liners and bragging is of no use). I think Bains Brothers (of Lok Insaaf Party) are bigger assets to the state as they are doing very good work,” said Khaira. Sidhu had formed his own outfit, Awaaz-e-Punjab, after quitting the BJP and held a few rounds of discussions with AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal last year. But their talks hit a dead-end and he joined the Congress just days before the state assembly polls.
Sukhbir’s ‘confused dig’ at Manpreet
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Badal never misses any opportunity to hit out at Congress ministers Manpreet Singh Badal and Navjot Singh Sidhu.
His speech at Malout on Saturday wasn’t any different, except for his choice of nasty words. Comparing Sidhu with monkey, the former deputy chief minister said that he (Sidhu) does not have firm stand on anything and keeps jumping. Then, Sukhbir went after his estranged cousin Manpreet Badal, saying that he is the finance minister of the state but doesn’t know the ABC of economics. “Manpreet is also confused over Goods and Services Tax (GST). He first welcomed it. Now he is saying that the step was taken in a hurry,” said the Akali leader.
‘Will support Jakhar, dil se’
Punjab rural development and panchayats minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa poured his heart out over the Congress party’s choice of candidate for Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll. Bajwa said he would support Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar dil se (with heart). In case there was someone else, he would give support but not dil se, said the minister. While Tript Bajwa was initially making efforts to get party ticket for his son, Ravi Nandan Singh, Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa was also trying for his wife, ex-MLA Charanjeet Kaur. When he spoke about “someone else”, Tript Bajwa was referring to the former legislator.
Sidhu loves ‘odd-even’
Local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu was all praise for odd-even scheme of the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in New Delhi. Addressing architects from across Punjab about 10 days ago, Sidhu said this is how the Delhi government has checked the increasing traffic jams. Before the assembly polls in Punjab, Sidhu was in touch with the party, but things did not work out and rest is history.
BJP leaders’ photo-op
After staging a protest against the Congress government, BJP leaders in Amritsar made sure their act of cleaning the ashes of the chief minister’s effigy that they burnt outside Gandhi Gate was captured by photojournalists. The BJP leaders had barely finished giving sound-bites to reporters when some party workers were heard suggesting to them to clean the remains. Before they began, some leaders requested the lensmen to keep them in the frame. “Drame dekho inke, ye sab akhbaro me photos ke liye hai (Look at their drama. They are staging everything for pictures in the newspapers)” is what a constable, who was on duty there and watched the act, had to say. Of course, the media obliged!
Hooda has die-hard supporters
Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has been in the news for wrong reasons for quite some time. A series of CBI cases registered against him and his loyalists are to be blamed for his troubles. However, his diehard supporters haven’t lost hope of seeing Hooda rise again. The number of full-page advertisements which appeared in several language newspapers eulogizing Hooda on his birthday last week speaks a lot about his fan following among the Congress leaders. The ads spoke about Hooda’s long political career, his lineage and projected him as a “saviour” for Haryana. Perhaps, this is the way his supporters can keep him in good humor.
Mullana’s ‘bachcha barb’ at Modi, Khattar
Phool Chand Mullana, former president of Haryana Congress, last week made a jibe against the ruling BJP government in a strange manner. Accusing the BJP govt of anti-Dalit functioning, Mullana, accompanied by four Dalit MLAs of Congress, lambasted the government for allegedly shielding Ryan International School, Gurgaon, where a seven-year old boy was brutally murdered. “Inke na bachche hain, na inko fikr hai, na Modi ke na Khattar ke,” Mullana said meaning that the BJP leaders would not know parents’ worry about children, for, neither Prime Minister Modi nor chief minister Khattar has any. A new low this!
Virbhadra’s ‘topi’ politics
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh left health minister and his detractor Kaul Singh Thakur red-faced when he refused to accept the maroon Himachali cap at a function organised at Hotel Peterhoff in Shimla to launch a central medical institute. Union health minister Jagat Parkash Nadda, who was the chief guest, was perplexed by the CM’s sudden refusal the don the cap. The episode has given the BJP another reason to go after Virbhadra. The party has accused the CM, who prefers green ones, of insulting Himachali cap. The Congress circles are agog with speculation about Virbhadra being upset with Kaul Singh. The question being asked is: Was it because the minister backed Sukhu as state unit chief.
Bali-Sharma rare bonhomie
Having slugged it out for five years, transport minister GS Bali and his bête noire and cabinet colleague Sudhir Sharma finally shared the stage during the foundation stone laying ceremony of inter-state bus terminal at Dharamshala the other day. Taking the opportunity, “Chhota Bhai” (Sudhir) invited “Bada Bhai” (Bali) for lunch at the office of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) run by a close aide. The delicious fare included a variety of traditional Kangra cuisines such as ‘mithdoo’ and ‘arbi’ (colocasia roots). As they were enjoying the food, a curious officer suddenly asked Sudhir’s staff: “Has this food been specially cooked for us or there is someone’s “shraddh” (memorial) today?” After a few awkward moments of silence, everyone in the dining hall was in splits.
(Contributed by Aneesha Sareen Kumar, Harpreet Kaur, Gurpreet Singh Nibber, Sarbmeet Singh, Nikhil Sharma, Hitender Rao, Rajesh Moudgil, Gaurav Bisht, Naresh K Thakur)