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Regional buzz | Pani wala gharuka and AAP’s farewell song for Amarinder

Keeping tabs on power politics in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir

punjab Updated: Feb 20, 2017 17:47 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
Pani Wala Gharhuka,Sukhbir Singh Badal,AAP
Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal’s much-hyped amphibious bus project at Harike has been making news on social media. The bus, which has become popular as ‘Pani Wala Gharhuka’ on social messaging sites, was inaugurated by Sukhbir amid much fanfare.(Illustration by Daljeet kaur Sandhu/HT)


Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal’s much-hyped amphibious bus project at Harike has been making news on social media. The bus, which has become popular as ‘Pani Wala Gharhuka’ on social messaging sites, was inaugurated by Sukhbir amid much fanfare. When the amphibious bus was sent back to Goa, tweeters and other social media aficionados had great fun, taking jibes at the initiative. Now, a new bus has been brought which actually looks like amphibious buses running in foreign countries. And, the news of its arrival went viral on social media.


Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. (HT Photos)

There is nothing remotely social about wars of political parties on social media. While Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh dismisses the buzz about Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as “social media hype”, the latter has been returning the fire with some ingenuity. The Delhi team of Arvind Kejriwal has penned a farewell song for Captain where a team wearing Kejriwal masks is crooning, “Captain ji, Captain ji, tumne kho di apni izzat, jitni bhi thi bachi. Haroge tum Patiala aur Lambi se bhi (Captain you have lost your little prestige that was left. You will lose from both Patiala and Lambi seats).” The song is sung to the tune of ‘Mein chali, mein chali’ from the Hindi movie ‘Padosan’. Why is Kejriwal on detox regime in Bengaluru? Ask Captain!


Bureaucrats never cease to amaze. There was a goof-up in Gurugram where Jats from the proquota groups were invited for a meeting with chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar when he wanted to have a talk with his party colleagues. Then, several instructions have been issued by the state chief secretary to district officials for situation reports (sitreps) on the Jat quota stir. The chief secretary, who is heading the negotiating committee, has sent four directives to all the deputy commissioners and superintendents of police in the last three weeks. The first letter asked the district officials to monitor the situation closely, secure traffic movement and send sitreps at 2 pm daily. But it seemed they had not learnt any lessons from last year’s fiasco and the response was slack. The chief secretary’s office sent another missive, telling them that the government had taken a serious view. Later, two more letters were dispatched, asking them to send the daily sitreps to the government at 3.30 pm. The latest one even had a detailed eight-point format for uniformity. The district chiefs did start sending reports on time regularly, but not without a nudge.


The Manohar Lal Khattar-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Haryana held its cabinet meeting outside Chandigarh for the first time in recent years. The state council of ministers met at Surajkund in Faridabad district last week. The reason: all the ministers had been invited for lunch hosted by chief minister on the occasion of the culmination of the fortnightlong Surajkund International Crafts Mela. Khattar found it convenient to hold the cabinet meeting there. If his aides are to be believed, it saved time, as both purposes were served at one place. The CM also “informally” discussed the demands of the protesting Jats with his ministers. But nothing much came out of it.


Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh, and his arch rival and predecessor Prem Kumar Dhumal do not miss any opportunities to take digs at each other. The other day, Virbhadra predicted that the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will not project Dhumal as its face in the assembly elections due this year. Not the one to let such things pass, Dhumal hit back at the octogenarian chief minister. “He seems to have lost his mental balance. And the problem becomes more acute each time there is an election in the state,” said the BJP leader.


Raising a banner of revolt against his own government, transport minister GS Bali recently announced plans to hold a mega conference of youth and women on his home turf, Nagrota Bagwan, on unemployment etc. The announcement comes after the minister had embarrassed the state government over non-fulfilment of poll promise of providing unemployment allowance to jobless youth. But his move to create pressure may not work. On being asked, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that it would amount to “sheer indiscipline”.


Things are not going smooth in newly constituted Dharamshala Municipal Corporation. In just one year of its formation, the civic body has seen four commissioners. JM Pathania, municipal commissioner and chief executive officer (CEO) of Dharamshala Smart City, is latest to fall prey to his tussle with mayor Rajni Vyas. Once a close confident of Dharamshala MLA and urban development minister Sudhir Sharma, Pathania was removed from the post a day after he locked horns with mayor and councillors over deteriorating sanitation.


After reports that the Himachal government was planning to changing the top cop in the state, the aspirants — IPS officers SR Mardi, Prithviraj and Somesh Goyal — have started doing the rounds of the corridors of power. Mardi was tipped to take over from director general of police Sanjay Kumar before the move was aborted. Kumar, an ardent worshipper of Maa Kali, quietly made a religious trip to Baglamukhi temple in Kangra district thereafter perhaps for some divine intervention.

(Contributed by Sukhdeep Kaur, Surjit Singh, Navneet Sharma, Rajesh Moudgil, Gaurav Bisht, Naresh K Thakur)

First Published: Feb 20, 2017 17:42 IST