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109th Day Of Lockdown

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  Ready to help!

Ready to help!

Published : Aug 22, 2016, 3:24 am IST
Updated : Aug 22, 2016, 3:24 am IST

A former student leader, who calls himself “a sympathiser and well wisher”, has been sending out mails to mediapersons, requesting to be invited for his views during political discussions.


A former student leader, who calls himself “a sympathiser and well wisher”, has been sending out mails to mediapersons, requesting to be invited for his views during political discussions. The former student leader belongs to the Aligarh Muslim University and claims to be “good in public speaking”. He says that he “deeply” believes in the philosophy and policies of the Bahujan Samaj Party and considers Mayawati to be his political guru. The young man is determined to defend the BSP on any platform. The problem, however, is that no leader in the BSP — irrespective of his stature or position — is allowed to interact with the media or on social media platforms. When asked about this zealous young man, a senior BSP MLA remarked, “I wonder how well he knows the party and its culture if he is not aware of the fact that no one is allowed to represent the BSP in the media.” Another MLA, meanwhile, saw the proverbial silver lining and said, “Nevertheless, it is good to know that even in these troubled times, there are people who ‘believe’ in the party and are ‘ready to help’.”

FURIOUS MAMATA West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is furious. This time not with the Opposition CPI(M) or the BJP, but with her own partymen. It is Trinamul Congress councillors of various civic bodies who have earned her wrath. She is incensed because despite her repeated warnings, a number of them have been found involved in “tolabazi” and syndicate business. These two jargons are absolutely region-specific and, therefore, need to be explained to the uninitiated. “Tolabazi” can be loosely translated as “extortion”, but it covers all types of corruption. A “syndicate” is a consortium of a group of persons close to a ruling party leader, which coerces real estate developers into purchasing construction material at inflated prices. After starting her second term, Ms Banerjee has been working tirelessly to not only improve her governance, but also improve her party’s image, which had taken a beating because of Saradha chit-fund scam and Narada sting operation. In an effort to put the fear of God among the errant partymen, she even ordered the arrest of a heavyweight councillor of Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation who has been cooling his heels in judicial custody for over a month. Ms Banerjee lives in a modest home at Kalighat and leads a spartan life. Her personal probity is above reproach. She is now determined to make her party clean and corruption-free. “If you seek short-term gains then you will be out in two years. But if you want a long inning then work for people’s votes and not for notes,” Ms Banerjee was quoted as telling the councillors at Nazrul Mancha. She will not admit it, but Ms Banerjee must be aspiring to break Left Front’s three decade-long rule in West Bengal.

VIJ: THE ‘TWITTER’ KING Haryana sports minister Anil Vij, who is known for tweeting, recently grabbed headlines when Indian boxer Manoj Kumar called him from Rio saying his family was not able to watch his first bout, as some people deliberately removed the electricity transformer from his village. The enthusiastic minister told the boxer to concentrate on the game and not to worry about the problems at home, saying: “Main hoon na.” He told the boxer that police had been deployed outside his house and the transformer has been fixed. However, later in the week Mr Vij went to Rio with a nine-member delegation, which included two BJP MLAs and media adviser to Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, to boost the morale of athletes from Haryana. Before leaving, he tweeted: “Leading a contingent to Olympics to encourage the Haryana players.” Surprisingly, arriving in Rio, Mr Vij and delegation did not bother to watch any of the matches of Haryana athletes for the first two days and spent most of the time in their beach hotels or exploring the city.

AT WIT’S END Former Union parliamentary affairs minister and Orissa’s veteran Congress leader Srikant Jena did not ever imagine that all what he says these days is not immediately swallowed by the media. His past track record of being a “bluffmaster” is heavily weighing on mediapersons. Keeping low since the party’s disastrous results under his leadership in 2014 Assembly and Lok Sabha polls, Mr Jena on August 18 woke up from his mysterious slumber and spoke on the Mahanadi water row. In a press release, he said the six major barrages that the Chhattisgarh government was building on Mahanadi, with the money given by industrialists, was granted permission not by the UPA government but by the NDA government on May 25, 2014. Little did he know that his inputs in the press release would prove counterproductive for him. He was at his wit’s end when mediapersons on Facebook reminded him that the NDA government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sworn-in on May 26, 2014. Infuriated over the veteran Congress leader’s gaffe, many Facebook followers snubbed him in Oriya slangs. Mr Jena’s shortcut to hog limelight ended in a whimper.