Regional buzz: Of FIRs as Badal’s secret to success and Captain batting for #MeToo
HT keeps a tab on power politics in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.punjab Updated: Oct 22, 2018 14:16 IST
Not afraid of FIRs
Guess what is the secret of five-time former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal’s political success? Badal, in his own words, gives credit to “parche” (FIRs) registered against him during his political career spanning seven decades. “Parchean to na ghabraya karo, eh parche hi ne jinha karke mai mukh mantri banya haa (Don’t be scared of FIRs registered against you. It is these FIRs that made me the chief minister),” Badal said at a gathering in Rampura Phul recently while drumming up support for the party. His political bête noire, chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, perhaps also believes this. Despite demands from within his party (Congress) and the opposition to book Badal and some others for police firing incidents at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan in 2015, he has been non-committal.
Youth Cong leaders’ grouse
It is not just Congress MLAs who are sulking at having “no say” during their party’s rule. The Punjab Youth Congress is an unhappy lot too. At a recent meeting at Congress Bhawan with party president Rahul Gandhi’s close aide Krishna Allavaru, several district office-bearers of the youth wing of the party spoke vehemently against some senior leaders. They accused them of “corruption, non-performance and ignoring” party’s interests and workers. There is also resentment against CM Captain Amarinder Singh who has appointed rank newcomers as his young OSDs. Their grouse: “CM rewards personal loyalty. What about loyalty to party?”
All eyes on Dhindsa’s next move
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa may have resigned from the post of party secretary general citing poor health, but he is keeping an eye on political developments and moves of top leaders of his party. The Rajya Sabha MP, who is staying at his home in Chandigarh these days, continues to regularly meet his supporters and newsmen for the latest. A shrewd politician, he has kept quiet, unlike the Majha leaders who spoke out against the party leadership to vent their ire. All eyes are now on the veteran leader’s next move.
Capt bats for #MeToo movement
Trying to be topical, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh extended support to the #MeToo movement that is sweeping across the country while extending greetings to the people on Dussehra and Durga Puja. The CM, in a subtle reference to the ongoing campaign, said such incidents were unacceptable in the land of Goddess Durga, who epitomises the strength of the Indian woman and womanhood. “The festival of Durga Puja teaches us to respect the strength of womanhood,” he said in a media release.
A different yardstick
The suspension of Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala and his younger brother Digvijay Chautala from the primary membership of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) for anti-party activities has raised questions over the manner in which the party is functioning under the leadership of former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala. As the party chief, he is well within his rights to term the hooliganism by the supporters of Dushyant and Digvijay at the October 7 Gohana rally as an anti-party activity. But questions are being raised over the actions of INLD’s Faridabad NIT MLA Nagender Bhadana who has been openly siding with the ruling BJP for the last four years. The MLA openly supports the BJP and his posters carrying pictures of BJP leaders, including national general secretary Anil Jain and chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, dot his constituency. His activities are well known to the INLD leadership but no disciplinary action was initiated against him.
Relief for officers
Three IAS officers against whom a criminal case was registered first by the Haryana Vigilance Bureau and then the CBI regarding the restoration of an institutional plot to Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), the publisher of National Herald, heaved a sigh of relief last week. Even as they opposed the move to restore the plot to the AJL in writing, the three bureaucrats – two of them have retired since – were booked along with former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. When the CBI recently sought sanction to prosecute Hooda, it became clear that the officers have been given a clean chit by the agency. However, there could be more to it. The officers absolved by the CBI could now figure among the prosecution witnesses when it files a chargesheet in a court.
Khattar goes into overdrive
After a series of road shows, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has now decided to hold rallies to mark four years of his rule in the state. He plans to hold at least one rally in each of the 22 districts of the state with two or three rallies in a week. Apart from the Jind rally on Sunday, he will address another public meeting rally in Rohtak later this week. With the parliamentary and state assembly polls due next year, Khattar, of course, has a lot of talking to do on his government.
No end to VIP culture
When Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur took over the reins of the state government nine months ago, he promised to do away with the VIP culture. But he has been bending backwards since to keep his ministers happy. Now, the CM has decided to allow police pilot vehicles to ministers during their field trips to districts across the state. Needless to say, the move has drawn flak. Promises and pie crust, they say, are meant to be broken.
Minister’s boundless arrogance
People learn from their mistakes, but not Himachal food and civil supplies minister Kishan Kapoor. The haughty minister was recently caught on the camera aggressively countering the activists of the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) when they met him with their demands. Again, he is facing flak for a viral video in which the minister is seen rebuking a government official for disappearing from the event for some time. As the official politely tells him that he went out to take medicine, an angry Kapoor gives a warning to him.
(Contributed by Prabhjit Singh, Sukhdeep Kaur, Gurpreet Singh Nibber, Hitender Rao, Rajesh Moudgil, Gaurav Bisht and Naresh K Thakur)
First Published: Oct 22, 2018 14:16 IST