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HomeOpinionPower GalleryBharat Jodo or ‘thali todo’? Journalists denied food, Congress spokesperson in tears

Bharat Jodo or ‘thali todo’? Journalists denied food, Congress spokesperson in tears

In Kanyakumari, on the day Rahul Gandhi was about to start his Bharat Jodo Yatra, a Congress spokesperson invited media persons for dinner.

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When it comes to the rural sports, kabaddi remains an integral part. More than 30 lakh villagers are participating in rural games in Rajasthan. And an all-out kabaddi (for funds) is also on in the state. When the initial budget for these games was fixed at Rs 50 crore, the state’s sports council went into a celebratory mood. Sports minister Ashok Chandana even issued tenders worth Rs 19 crore. All this happened much before Krishna Poonia was appointed as the sports council president. When Poonia assumed charge, she started to outweigh Chandana’s authority. Not to be outwitted, Chandana responded with tweets. This led to an intervention from the ‘Big Boss’ and the responsibility for the panchayat and block-level sports, with a total budget of Rs 17 crore, were transferred to the education department. Some money was allocated for the promotional events. The council was hopeful that the rest of the funds would eventually fall in its kitty. The money meant for state-level games has now been allocated to the chief secretary. The despondency of the sports council office bearers is a thing better not enquired about.

Ghulam Ali, Ghulam Nabi and the confusion

Recently, the President of India nominated Ghulam Ali, a Gujjar-Muslim leader from Jammu and Kashmir. Some people mistook Ghulam Ali as Ghulam Nabi. All of a sudden, Ghulam Nabi became the ‘champion of social media’, inviting both bricks and bouquets. Party’s opponents as well as supporters also jumped in. The social media spat calmed down only after it was clarified that the person being nominated is Ghulam Ali and not Ghulam Nabi. When the BJP’s social media looked in to the confusion, some 82.57 per cent of the people, who had jumped the gun while misidentifying Ghulam Ali as Ghulam Nabi, were the usual suspects.

Deb’s high hopes for a Sonowal redux

Former Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb is nursing new hopes—that his political path replicates that of Sarbananda Sonowal. Just as Himanta Biswa Sarma was appointed the CM of Assam replacing Sonowal, Deb was replaced by Manik Saha as Tripura CM. Again, just like Sonowal, Deb was also entrusted with an important responsibility in the organisation. After this, Sonowal became a Rajya Sabha MP and Deb – who is now BJP’s candidate for a Rajya Sabha seat from Tripura – is all set to follow in his footsteps. Now Deb hopes his final step matches Sonowal’s, just as Sonowal was inducted in the Union cabinet. You get the drift?

One katha, two invitations

The Navratri festival is around the corner, so the preparations for the recital and staging of Ram Katha and Ramlila are in full swing. The season of invitations is at its prime. There is a katha vachak from Vrindavan, who is addressed by his disciples as Manas Rasik. Well, Manas Rasik ji recently went to the BJP headquarters to invite the party president. As the president was not there, he handed over the invitation card to a general secretary. Interestingly, the invitation card mentioned Rasik as a katha pravakata instead of katha vachak. Why is it so?

The answer is interesting. It was revealed that the cards with ‘katha vachak’ written on them were for the commoners. However, the cards specially printed for political leaders had ‘katha pravakta’ written on them. Rasik ji may have wanted to come across as a ‘pravakta’— influential term in political circles.

Race to ‘add’, not to ‘ally’

Nitish Kumar is sweating hard to unite the opposition parties. He has already met all the top leaders in the opposition ranks. But the basic question remains unanswered, and that is – whether it is possible to unite all the opposition parties? And, even if, somehow, they agree to come on the same platform to form a front, who will be its leader? Nitish’s special aides say the person who succeeds in uniting everyone will be the one to lead them. The catch here is that some other people have been working on a similar formula. And their race is a different one.

No free lunches

In Kanyakumari, on the day Rahul Gandhi was about to start his much-touted Bharat Jodo Yatra, a Congress party spokesperson invited media persons, some of whom had come from Delhi, to dine. The dining area was on the ground floor. The journalists, who were on the third floor, moved to the ground floor to have their meal, but the resort management told them they had no information about their fooding arrangements.  Bewildered journalists promptly called the spokesperson who had invited them to the ground floor. Soon, a spat broke out between the resort management and the Congress spokesperson. Some journalists did manage to grab a plate but the staff snatched them back. The woman spokesperson started weeping. Gossip was: is it Bharat Jodo or ‘thali todo’?

Engine, shunting and brakes

Rajasthan BJP state president Satish Poonia was about to embark on a yatra. But the high command applied brakes. When the yatra did take place, it was a solo one – door-to-door, town to town. Whenever the BJP is in opposition in Rajasthan, the party keeps the struggle on through these yatras. ‘Madam’ president has already completed her campaign in six out of the seven divisions of the state by undertaking these small trips, and she is about to carry out the seventh one in the Bikaner division. All this was done with radio silence. There are certain pockets in the state where challenge to Poonia is coming from with the party. Looks like a trick straight out of the magician’s book. You get this one too. Right?

Bharat Agrawal is Executive Director, Dainik Bhaskar Group, and a columnist.

By special arrangement with Dainik Bhaskar and translated by Ram Lal Khanna from the original in Hindi and edited by Anurag Chaubey.

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