Reporters' Diary: EX-CMs in UP go house hunting

The Asian Age.

Opinion, Reporter's Diary

The problem is that with the Lucknow skyline going up, bungalows with sprawling lawns are now a rarity.

The ones that are available are in townships that are developing on the outskirts of the state capital and are not ready to move in.

It may sound bizarre, but all former chief ministers in Uttar Pradesh seem to be house hunting. After the Supreme Court ruled that former chief ministers cannot retain official bungalows once their tenure is over and the estate department in Uttar Pradesh asked six former chief ministers to vacate their bungalows within 15 days, these leaders have been forced to look for alternative accommodation. Though none of the six former chief ministers have issued any statement in this regard, sources said that Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav have asked their aides to look for bungalows that match their present accommodation and also their status.

The problem is that with the Lucknow skyline going up, bungalows with sprawling lawns are now a rarity. The ones that are available are in townships that are developing on the outskirts of the state capital and are not ready to move in.  Rajnath Singh, presently Union home minister, and Kalyan Singh, governor of Rajasthan, are apparently not too worried at the moment and Mayawati has decided not to visit Lucknow unless she gets a “safe and secure” alternative residence.

Pause is PM’s punctuation mark
Prime Minister Narendra Modi knows how to win hearts of people. While addressing the NDA government’s recent Jana Kalyan rally in Cuttack, Odisha to commemorate completion of the government’s four years in office,  Mr Modi started his speech by evoking the name of Lord Jagannath — the presiding deity of Odisha.  As he in his inimitable style recited “Jai Jagannath, Jai Jagannath, Jai Jagannath,” the crowd chanted after him.

The PM took a little pause. He then invoked the name of Subhas Chandra Bose who was born in Cuttack. The crowd again cheered in appreciation.  Mr Modi paused again and took many other eminent persons’ names and made sure the crowd reciprocated with fervour.  That’s not all. He packed some Odia lines in his hour-long speech and the exhausted crowd felt rejuvenated. A few top BJP leaders sitting near the press box were heard saying: “Our master speaker has learnt to use pause as a punctuation mark in his oration.”

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