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Banking on the stars

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Feb 29, 2016, 5:15 am IST
Updated : Nov 29, 2016, 11:28 pm IST

A senior party leader, however, had some advice to offer to party workers after Mr Shah inaugurated the building.

RDD 1.jpg
 RDD 1.jpg

Renovating fortunes

There is something in the Bharatiya Janata Party office in Lucknow that is just not right — at least, this is what the party workers say rather openly.

Every time the party’s fortunes in Uttar Pradesh dip, the party leaders blame it on the vaastu of the building.

The entrance gate of the BJP office has been changed more than half a dozen times and when that did not bring the required change, the party leaders decided that it was a chilbil tree (elm tree) in the premises that was preventing Lady Luck from entering the party.

However, even after the chilbil tree was felled, things did not change much.The BJP office has, once again, been given a makeover and, this time, vaastu experts have been consulted at every step.

BJP president Amit Shah inaugurated the renovated office last week and party leaders are hopeful that they are all set to form the government in Uttar Pradesh in 2017.

A senior party leader, however, had some advice to offer to party workers after Mr Shah inaugurated the building.

“Buildings don’t make parties, parties make buildings and to change our fortunes, we need to change ourselves — including leaders who level baseless allegations at each other,” he said.

Valid advice, but we wonder if anyone was listening.

Travel travails Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit is an envoy who seems rather fond of travelling within the country. The envoy recently visited Karnataka and Assam. But it was his proposed trip to Tamil Nadu that attracted controversy recently.

The ministry of external affairs rubbished certain media reports that claimed that Mr Basit was prevented from visiting Chennai due to lack of timely permission from the MEA.

The MEA spokesperson pointed out that on February 12 itself, the permission was given to the high commissioner, his wife and an official of the Pakistan high commission to visit Chennai on February 22.

It’s inexplicable how such reports gain ground, remarked an exasperated Indian government official, hinting that there was more to it that meets the eye. Well, looks like the MEA and the Pakistan high commission certainly aren’t on the same page on this one.

Modi’s honey talk The party members expected Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fire all cylinders against the Naveen Patnaik government in Orissa on rising farmer suicide cases at the BJP’s farmers’ rally at Bargarh in Orissa on February 21. But it did not happen. Instead, they got an hour-long “sermon” on honey cultivation.

More than one lakh farmers, who mainly cultivated paddy and vegetables, were present in the rally. They hoped that Mr Modi would announce some compensations and incentives for them in view of the crop loss due to drought.

To their utter dismay, Mr Modi devoted most part of his speech on honey cultivation saying it would turn the farmers’ fortunes around.

“We have come here to be assured that the NDA is keen to fulfil its pre-poll promise of paying farmers Rs 2,500 per quintal of paddy and other incentives as announced earlier.

Instead of doing that, Mr Modi is teaching the paddy growers honey cultivation. Farmers are not politicians who can shift to another party and immediately adopt the culture of the new organisation and its ideology,” a few farmers who had come from Barpali murmured while quitting the venue.

Senior leaders of the BJP state unit looked a little puzzled when Mr Modi went astray from the mission of holding the farmers’ rally, but none of them could muster courage to interfere during his speech.

Sleepless in Assam A popular Assamese almanac named Kalpurush’s prediction about the upcoming Assembly elections in Assam is giving sleepless nights to the politicians. According to him, there will be a hung Assembly that will result in the formation of a coalition government.

The almanac has also suggested that the coalition that will come to power will be very unstable.

Two political alignments will be in contention, one centred around the Congress and the other around the Bharatiya Janata Party. However, according to Kalpurush, a BJP-led coalition, including the Asom Gana Parishad and the Bodoland People’s Front, has “better chances” in forming the next government.

One doesn’t know if prediction of the Kalpurush will come true or not but restlessness among the politicians is quite visible before the polls.

Maratha warrior Sharad Pawar may be down but he is certainly not out. Over the past few weeks, the Maratha strongman was keeping a low profile due to some medical condition.

The Nationalist Congress Party president was even hospitalised during this period with concerns expressed in several quarters regarding his ill health. However, with the Budget Session that started on February 23, Mr Pawar was seen attending the Rajya Sabha, seated in the first row greeting his fellow MPs. Despite showing some discomfort, the veteran leader made sure that he interacted with other senior leaders, including the leader of House Arun Jaitley.

Three cheers for our Maratha warrior!

Salary woes Two special secretaries of the Aam Aadmi Party government’s home department are reportedly uncertain whether they would be getting their salary for the month of February.

The two officers — Subhash Chander and Yashpal Garg — were caught in a crossfire between the AAP government and lieutenant-governor Najeeb Jung as the duo had reportedly refused to sign a Cabinet note against the wishes of their minister Satyendra Kumar Jain. But the two were reinstated on the directions of principal secretary S.N. Sahai. Both the officers have got their salaries for the month of January.

But the pay and accounts officer has now written to the government to clarify whether their salaries should be released for the month of February. The salary issue of the two hangs in a limbo till the government gives clear instructions on the contentious matter.

Kati Patang A simile used by senior Maharashtra Congress leader Kripashankar Singh to describe apparent sliding political fortune of veteran leader and former chief minister Ajit Jogi, has become a subject of intense political debate in Chhattisgarh.

Mr Singh who was in Chhattisgarh to participate in the national “Kshatriya Sammelan” (conference of erstwhile royal families) held on February 13 in Raipur, narrated a story before a group of mediapersons to assign the reason behind the “nose diving” political career of Mr Jogi.

“Mr Jogi has found himself at crossroads of his political career today. His political journey is akin to a kati patang (snapped kite),” Mr Singh, who is facing charges of acquiring ill-gotten properties, had observed.

The fate of Mr Jogi hangs in balance as the Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee’s recommendation to All-India Congress Committee to show him the door is still pending with the party high command.

Now the Jogi-baiters within the Congress are recollecting a stanza from a song of the 1970 Bollywood movie Kati Patang — Na koi umang hai, na koi tarang hai, meri zindagi hai kya, ek kati patang hai — to describe his current woes.

But the former chief minister’s followers have cautioned, “Never write off Mr Jogi.”

Give up comfy rides Though the government has urged consumers to voluntarily give up their LPG subsidy, it might as well issue a similar kind of an appeal to all those members of Parliament, who travel to Parliament in diesel guzzling SUVs.

Being servants of the people, the MPs could do well to utilise the electrically-powered bus service which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had proudly inaugurated for use of lawmakers during the Winter Session of Parliament.

Several MPs posed for pictures sitting in the bus after the inauguration, but the bus itself is nowhere to be seen during the ongoing Budget Session. Tokenism at its best, one must say!

Tags: bharatiya janata party