CM Amarinder sings Suhag song, and Anil Vij has a softer side
Politician, ex-soldier, historian — Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh wears many hats. He added a new one Monday evening — that of a singer.
He sang a Punjabi ‘Suhag’ song at the wedding celebration of his granddaughter Seharinder Kaur at his Siswan farmhouse, as he sat next to the just-married couple and wife Praneet Kaur. Suhag is a genre of folk songs sung as part of wedding rituals in Punjab.
Sehar, who is the daughter of Amarinder Singh’s son Raninder Singh, got married to Aditya Narang, son of Delhi-based businessman Devin Narang, at a ceremony Sunday.
Amarinder is known as a prolific military historian, and his close friends also vouch for his cooking skills. That he has talent in music too was not known to many, and the video of him singing went viral in no time.
A bigger surprise from the region, however, was another politician who took to singing last week.
Haryana Home and Health Minister Anil Vij, known more for his caustic tongue, sang the beautiful Manna Dey song, ‘Kasme, waade, pyaar, wafa, sab baatein hain baaton ka kya’, from the 1967 Manoj Kumar-starrer Upkar.
Vij had called some of his old friends and acquaintances over to his residence in Ambala for tea where he regaled his friends with the song. Vij, who has recently recovered from Covid, was quite sick during the course of the treatment and had been in hospital for almost a month. The dyed-in-the-wool BJP leader and RSS product, who rarely spares anyone from his remarks and uncompromising attitude, also seems to have a softer side to his personality.
Nadda’s message for Raje, Poonia factions of Rajasthan BJP
That former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia of the BJP and her party’s state unit chief, Satish Poonia, are not best of friends is well known. And this became more clear when the latter tried to establish himself as a Jat leader in the state in the past, and did not take many of Raje’s supporters in his executive and state teams. Raje’s supporters had last month announced that they would hold a rally in March and a show of strength for their leader in April.
The BJP high command has since been trying to balance the party’s politics in the state.
BJP president J.P. Nadda visited Jaipur Tuesday to send a message, aiming to end the infighting. Waiting for his arrival, the two factions could be seen standing in separate lines at the airport. They, however, unitedly welcomed the party chief once he arrived.
During his address, Poonia praised former CM Raje’s leadership and her government, but sources said this was only a cosmetic truce. Nadda, in his speech, gave a message to both factions, without naming anybody, as he said only the public makes a leader, and that no one can become a leader without public support.
Election commissioners’ show of unity — ‘optics & reality’
Concluding his last press conference announcing polls as chief election commissioner, Sunil Arora last week thanked his colleagues Sushil Chandra and Rajiv Kumar for their support through his tenure, shaking hands with both — presenting a picture-perfect moment of unity among the three election commissioners. However, in a somewhat cryptic remark, Arora said, “We have done this before once, but that was optics. And this is reality.”
Incidentally, the last time the three election commissioners held each other’s hands in this fashion publicly was months after the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 when former EC Ashok Lavasa was still in the commission, and cracks within the panel were visible to all. Lavasa had been the lone commissioner then to oppose the clean chits given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then BJP president Amit Shah for alleged violations of the poll code. Last year, Lavasa exited the ECI after a slew of corruption cases against his family came to the fore in the immediate aftermath of his dissent.
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