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A cocktail of ideologies in Lucknow

Published : Oct 10, 2016, 3:57 am IST
Updated : Oct 10, 2016, 3:57 am IST

A confusing MIX-UP

A confusing MIX-UP

Too many parties often spoil the broth and this is what is happening with Sunil Shastri, son of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Mr Sunil Shastri, who has been shuttling between the Congress and the BJP in the last two decades and is now in the BJP, recently put up a poster wishing the people of Lucknow on “Navratri, Dussehra and Diwali”.

Mr Shastri apparently wants to contest from a seat in Lucknow and is keen to cash in on the immense goodwill of his late father. His posters therefore carry a photograph of Lal Bahadur Shastri and have even weaved his famous slogan into the saffron party. The slogan now says, “BJP ki pehchaan, Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan.”

The poster also has photographs of former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee, PM Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, Union home minister Rajnath Singh, UP BJP president Keshav Prasad Maurya and BJP vice-president Om Mathur.

Asked about his father’s snapshot on BJP poster, Mr Sunil Shastri said, “He is my father, and I have every right to have his photo in my poster.” While Congressmen are aghast at Lal Bahadur Shastri’s presence in BJP posters, the BJP leaders are equally upset at this cocktail of ideologies. Neither of the two parties are ready to utter a word because more than anything else, it is the votes that matter — more so, when elections are just a few months away.

DIDI, the Durga Mamata Banerjee had been the most sought-after political leader to inaugurate important Durga Pujas in Kolkata even when the Left Front was in power. The Marxists did not believe in mixing politics with religion. They rigidly followed secularism in true sense. After she dethroned the CPI(M) from power in 2011, requests for inauguration of pujas also increased by leaps and bounds.

Last year, she wrote the theme song for one of the city’s three most celebrated puja pandals — Suruchi Sangha. Her words composed by popular music director and sung by a popular singer created magic. This year, after she stormed back to power with a massive majority, Didi’s strokes soared sky high. Bhowanipore Durgotsav Samiti pandal has showcased a fibreglass figure woman draped in a blue-bordered white sari offering flowers to the Goddess who has placed her hand on the woman’s head as if giving her blessings. No one has named the woman devotee but everyone whispers: “Didi.” Bhowanipore is where Ms Banerjee lives and it is also the name of her Assembly constituency.

At a pandal in Nadia’s Chakdah, the organiser has left nothing to imagination. A fibreglass figure of Ms Banerjee has, besides her two hands, 10 arms like Durga, symbolically holding projects she launched as the chief minister. It is drawing huge crowds but a separate Durga idol has been kept for the purpose of worshipping. Her supporters are loving this adulation, but her critics are worried at what they believe is the beginning of Didi’s deification.

Ghuggi back to Waraich The recently appointed Punjab Aam Aadmi Party convenor Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi, who is also a famous comedian, has now changed his name to Gurpreet Singh Waraich, his original surname. Ghuggi was suffixed by Gurpreet Singh when he entered the field of comedy.

He became very famous as Ghuggi, hardly anyone in Punjab knew that his real name was Gurpreet Singh Waraich. The world Ghuggi means (a bird of turtle dove family in Punjabi). Since Ghuggi was made convenor of the AAP, he decided to drop Ghuggi and use Waraich instead, a Jat Sikh surname, which carries a lot of weight in Punjab politics.

However, Ghuggi later clarified that he will keep using Ghuggi in his name as far as the entertainment industry is concerned and use Waraich only in politics.

A stylish revenge Humiliation has its limits. When a person is treated shabbily by his colleagues for long, he seeks an opportunity to give vent to his anger. Biju Janata Dal vice-president and Orissa excise minister Damodar Rout, who has often been on and off from the Naveen Patnaik’s council of ministers once again proved this.

Dr Rout who apparently perceives that he has always been marginalised in the government as well as party affairs at the instance of a young and yet influential group of party leaders led by health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak recently expressed is annoyance against the latter in his own inimitable style.

When a scribe during a television interview asked to know why the state government had failed to contain the Japanese encephalitis that has so far claimed lives of 42 infants in Malkangiri, he immediately retorted: “Why are you asking me Ask the health minister. During my stint as health minister in 2011, I had successfully tackled the disease.”

The journalist had no difficulty to figure out that the veteran leader had utilised the opportunity to bare his junior’s “inability” to handle the crisis. ‘BLESSED’ TO SUCCEED! Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh has recently bared the “secret” of his success in sports during his college days, leaving his admirers perplexed. Mr Singh appeared to have fallen into a reflective mood while felicitating the Chhattisgarh cricket team, which made its debut in Ranji Trophy this season at Raipur last week.

Going down the memory lane, Mr Singh recounted how he was chosen captain of his college cricket team just because of his height.

“I was the tallest player in our college cricket team. I was selected captain of the team because of my height (not on merit),” Mr Singh who has also created record in the BJP by becoming the longest serving chief minister in the saffron outfit recently, told the audience gathered on the occasion.

Although, he did not mention if the “secret” of his fairytale political journey which saw him becoming chief minister of Chhattisgarh third time in a row despite determined bids by his powerful adversaries in the party to replace him, has, too, anything to do with his height, his revelation has left many in the party pondering if his political authority has remained unchallenged so far in the state merely because of his physical stature.

For, he is the tallest politician in the BJP in Chhattisgarh, and, of course, in stature too. Blessed to succeed! Some truly wonder.