There is an uncanny American ring to Chief Minister Narendra Modis campaign style. His campaign managers have been talking about how they plan to use social media,just like America does,to push leaders to popularity. That perhaps explains why the BJPs recent overhaul in Gujarat saw expansion and appointments in its information technology cell. In the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls,BJP plans to organise special training sessions and workshops by IT professionals and experts to train its IT cell members for waging a virtual war,which is so far already dominated by Modi. The training is to be held at various levels,from zonal to regional and national,to prepare an army of youths,from 22 to 25 years of age,to bombard cyber space from the Modi camp.
SIT too close for CBIs comfort
CBI sleuths probing the four encounter cases in Gujarat have a tough time dealing with the uninvited audience outside their office at Old Sachivalaya in Gandhinagar,where,incidentally,the SC-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing post-Godhra riots also operates from. CBI sleuths suspect some SIT staff are putting an ear on its wall. They have been heard saying how the intrusion by people in the SIT has been affecting movements of CBI officers and suspect that information on who is giving testimonies to CBI might also be getting leaked. A senior CBI investigator in the Sohrabuddin encounter case had requested a former DGP to change the location of their office. He had said,While enemies of the CM sit on third floor,his watchdogs sit on the first floor. CBI sits on the third floor while SITs office is on the first floor of the same building in Block 11.
For expats,heat is on
Gujarat Expat Club,which was recently founded with an aim to bring cosmopolitan expatriates and locals together,saw serious absenteeism at its celebration of Canada Day on July 1at the Blind Peoples Association (BPA),a city-based NGO. The event saw far more locals than expats. Asked the reason,one of the founders said,The heat is just too much to bear for many foreign nationals who are back home. Hence,for these two to three months,our events will see very few expats. But once most of the members are back from their holidays,we plan to invite more people on this platform from cities like Surat and Rajkot. However,the low turnout did not play a dampener,with club members promptly opening their wallets to ensure the NGO which works with physically disabled children got a generous contribution.
Cells multiply as BJP aims big
The BJP,which is on a recast spree,has now announced a list of 30 cells for which it has appointed pradesh conveners. The list throws some surprises as well. For example,former Ahmedabad mayor Asit Vora is the new convener of the cultural cell. His predecessor Yogesh Gadhvi,who was a famous daayro (traditional folk song,followed by a chorus) singer,has also found a place in the list. He often engaged an audience waiting for a star campaigner with his music. Witnesses say he can imitate late celebrity singer Mukesh very well. Jagdish Bhavsar,the long-time media cell convener,has been relieved of his job,but his brother Atul has been made convener of (party) literature publication.