Himachal Confidential

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal’s walks from home to office and back have attracted a lot of attention from fellow walkers on the same route.

Written by Express News Service | Shimla | Published: July 19, 2010 12:35:08 am

CM’s mobile classroom
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal’s walks from home to office and back have attracted a lot of attention from fellow walkers on the same route. Though many people prefer to keep a distance from the CM’s entourage,schoolchildren try to match steps with him. And Dhumal,a former teacher,does not disappoint them. He chats up with the children about their education and other school-related matters. Going by the developments,the CM may soon be known for his mobile morning classrooms.

Damage control
After much drama throughout the week,the voices of bickering over organisational elections were suddenly shut behind closed doors in the Congress party’s state headquarters in Shimla. With the central returning officer for the party elections,Oscar Fernandes,intervening in the matter,and state retuning officer Rajni Patil reprimanding and issuing a warning to dissenting groups against going to the media,it was surprising to see that party spokesperson Kuldeep Rathore even refrained from issuing an official statement on the matter. Rathore’s silence could be connected with the fact that though he was officially appointed by Patil to assist her in the state elections,Fernandes chose to send another assistant returning officer from Delhi after controversies surfaced.

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On his latest visit to the state,Union Minister for Steel Virbhadra Singh stayed away from his Lok Sabha constituency,Mandi,and kept his focus on Shimla in the wake of organisational elections of the Congress. With conflicts marring the polls,he is reported to have told his close aides about his fears of disintegration of the party. Outside the party,however,he has maintained a studied silence till now. When photojournalists surrounded his vehicle for a picture recently,he quietly rolled down the window glass,obliging. But he categorically told them: “You can click pictures,but I will not speak anything (on the elections).” During every visit to his home state,Virbhadra has tried to rake up issues against the ruling BJP,but this time the saffron party was spared an attack as his attention was diverted to keep the Congress flock together.

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