Himachal confidential: Star Gazing

Every time Union Minister Virbhadra Singh visits Himachal Pradesh his presence never goes unnoticed.

Written by Express News Service | Published: May 21, 2012 3:34 am

Every time Union Minister Virbhadra Singh visits Himachal Pradesh his presence never goes unnoticed. Apart from causing trouble for the BJP government,the veteran Congress leader leaves detractors within his party in a tight spot. On his current visit to Shimla,coinciding with the local Municipal Corporation polls,Virbhadra’s assertions that his shani mahadasha,a bad astrological phase,he claims,for politics,ending by June 15,it could spell trouble for party rivals and the BJP government during the election year.

Bahar Jake Piyo

As is the norm nowadays,with polls around,those with an affection for the bottle seem to have the best of times and with elections being held for the Shimla Municipal Corporation,what better place to receive free alcohol. The BJP poll managers claim that incumbent Mayor Madhu Sood has her prosperous contractor family taking good care of bacchus’ lovers and local party campaigners. The BJP,however,doesn’t seem to have a good time of it on the bottle front. So when a media personnel asked a BJP leader what his party’s position was on the issue,pat came the reply,“the BJP stands for Bahar Jake Piyo (BJP)”.

leak gate

Jolted by the BJP releasing its pending graft chargesheet,the Congress,it seems,has no place to hide. The document reportedly reached Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and he shrewdly tossed it to state BJP president Satpal Satti apparently to “protect his source”. The chief minister,it is being claimed,has a few good friends in the Congress and thus did not need the state CID’s help in acquiring the document. While PCC Chief Kaul Singh has chosen to disown the 62-page poorly drafted chargesheet,G S Bali — who headed the Congress committee that prepare the document — says that the party,on return to power,will hold an inquiry and imprison the BJP leader,who had stolen the charge-sheet. “ The Congress has to decide which is a more serious charge. Bali blaming the BJP for the leak or Virbhadra pointing fingers at his party members over the issue,” says a BJP MLA.

Same old story

A prominent Shimla lawyer — close to the sangh parivar — was the strongest claimant for state Chief Information Commissioner’s (CIC) post last year. That was until the name of senior bureaucrat Bhim Sen,then principal secretary to the chief minister,cropped-up during the selection process resulting in the lawyer losing out. Yet,he never lost hope of making it to the Commission believing that S S Parmar,a retired chief secretary and member of the information body,would quit the job as his junior Bhim Sen was made a CIC. Parmar,however,did not oblige. Now with Parmar set to retire early next month,the lawyer-in-waiting has already thrown his hat in the ring. Much like last year,however,he faces a tough challenge with two top serving IPS officers,a senior bureaucrat and a gentleman from Haryana,all in the fray.

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