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Regional buzz: In Sidhus’ house, Kaur is the boss and Capt govt’s faux pas

When Kaur was returning to her seat after delivering the speech, Sidhu got up, bowed down with folded hands and got a pat from her. The cricketer-turned-politician then termed Noni, her nickname, as “Hitler of the house”, drawing guffaws from the audience.

punjab Updated: Sep 03, 2018 12:26 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
Regional buzz,Navjot Singh Sidhu,Dr Navjot Kaur
When Kaur was returning to her seat after delivering the speech, Sidhu got up, bowed down with folded hands and got a pat from her.(Illustration by Daljeet Kaur Sandhu/HT)

Keeping tabs on power politics in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and J&K:

In Sidhus’ house, Kaur is the boss

Punjab local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and his wife Dr Navjot Kaur, who was chief parliamentary secretary in the previous SAD-BJP government, displayed their sweet chemistry at an event organised in a private college in Jalandhar on Friday. When Kaur was returning to her seat after delivering the speech, Sidhu got up, bowed down with folded hands and got a pat from her. The cricketer-turned-politician then termed Noni, her nickname, as “Hitler of the house”, drawing guffaws from the audience. The two also called each other the pillar of their strength.

Capt govt’s faux pas

The top brass of the Congress government in Punjab was left red-faced by a press statement released on Thursday after the cabinet on regularisation of the services of 8,886 teachers engaged under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), besides those in Adarsh schools. The state authorities withdrew the release within minutes, saying the agenda item was deferred, but not before several television channels and websites had flashed the “breaking news” by then, as teacher unions have been holding dharnas and marches to press for regularisation. However, the ministers had different reasons. One cabinet minister said the regularisation proposal was approved but no formal announcement was made due to the model code of conduct for panchayat and zila parishad polls whereas another minister said there were one or two technical clarifications and regularisation would be approved in the next meeting.

Sukhbir’s busy media managers

As the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came out all guns blazing over the Ranjit Singh panel report and rumblings within the party over his tactic in the state assembly grew louder, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal last week tried a counteroffensive defence strategy. The former deputy CM held meetings with senior party leaders and decided to hit the streets against the alleged conspiracy to weaken the “Sikh institutions”. Thereafter, the party’s media managers, mostly former journalists, went into an overdrive to try and ensure maximum publicity for the protest plan. Two different press releases, overlapping each other, were issued. They also kept sending the releases again and again, inundating the mailbox and creating confusion.

Hitting each other below the belt

In a video that went viral last week, the language used by former Akali minister Bikram Singh Majithia and Congress leader Inderbir Bolaria touched a new low. Lashing out at jails minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Majithia told a web channel he would give the minister such a treatment that he would have to go back in ambulance. Bolaria, while speaking in support of Randhawa, went a step further. “We will not start it. If things are forced on us, we will not let him go like that. We will make sure that he (Majithia) goes back on shoulders of four men,” he said.

Absconding councillor & MC meet agenda

Congress councillor Gurdeep Singh Neetu, an accused in the Rinkle murder case, is absconding. However, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) dispatched the agenda of the general house meeting, to be held on September 4, to him. MC officials said the agenda will be delivered at Neetu’s official/permanent residence or office given in its record. While Neetu’s son Jatinder Singh, who was booked for murder under section 302 of Indian Penal Code, has been arrested, he was booked under section 120-b (conspiracy) in the case and is on the run.

On the anvil: Big battle at Kurukshetra

Political bigwigs of Haryana will come face to face in Kurukshetra, the land of Mahabharata, next week. Congress leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda will start the next phase of his rallies from Pehowa town on September 9. On the same day, Abhay Chautala, leader of the principal opposition party Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), has decided to hold a rally at Babain village of the district. Congress legislature party (CLP) leader Kiran Choudhry has also scheduled a rally in Thanesar town of Kurukshetra next Sunday. Their target will be the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that did well in north Haryana in the last assembly polls.

In parched Shimla, water cannons are full

Debate on “water crisis” in Shimla saw members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress in Himachal Pradesh try to outshine each other in the state assembly. Congress MLA from Shimla Rural and former chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s son Vikramaditya Singh hit out at the Jai Ram Thakur government, saying there was water scarcity in the state capital, but the government used water cannons to try and disperse the Youth Congress workers who were protesting outside the state assembly. BJP’s Nurpur MLA Rakesh Pathania told the Congress MLA that he was lucky as, unlike the police in Delhi that uses sewage water against protesters, the city cops used clean, treated water. “The water sprayed by them would have quenched thirst of slogan-shouting workers,” he said, evoking peals of laughter.

Jai Ram is a true friend!

A distress call from an old friend in Mandi kept chief minister Jai Ram Thakur awake at night the other day. The chief minister got the call at midnight from Nipun Malhotra who said a big cobra snake had entered his house and the wildlife wing of the forest department was not responding to phone calls. The CM immediately called up Mandi deputy commissioner Rigveda Thakur, directing him to help the family. The DC swung into action and sent a snake charmer who trapped the snake and then released it in forest. A friend in need, as they say, is a friend indeed. If he happens to be the chief minister, help arrives fast.

(Contributed by Parampreet Singh Narula, Navneet Sharma, Gurpreet Singh Nibber, Harsimran Singh Batra, Rajesh Moudgil and Gaurav Bisht)

First Published: Sep 03, 2018 12:25 IST