Congress VP Rahul Gandhi made an unannounced visit to the Ramlila mela in the Old Delhi area on Tuesday. Besides interacting with the crowd, he is reported to have sampled many of the snacks on offer. Rahul reportedly has a favourite shop which he visits every year — L S Caterers. From pav bhaji to aloo chat, gol gappa to paan and mango-laced kulfi, Rahul and his office staff tasted many snacks during his nearly 45-minute outing at the ground opposite Red Fort.
A BJP leader was asked, tongue-in-cheek, what gift the party was planning to give its senior leader L K Advani on his 88th birthday on November 8 — which also happens to be the day the results of the Bihar assembly elections will be announced. The leader paused, realised the import of the question, and replied: “Advaniji will get his birthday gift on November 8”.
It seems to be a case of once bitten, twice shy. The BJP has issued strict instructions to its union ministers who are going to Bihar to campaign for the remaining phases of the assembly elections. A key cabinet minister has been asked not to talk to mediapersons individually. Some others have been told not to answer any queries on subjects related to their respective ministries. All of them, however, have been asked to address a press conference in Patna. This come after some BJP ministers embarrassed the party with their statements recently.
When it comes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency, things move fast. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has raised its 11th battalion, to be stationed in Varanasi, within a record time of three months. Generally, it takes 18 months to two years to raise a battalion. The new battalion will cover emergency situations in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The NDRF has 10 battalions spread across the country, two of which are stationed in Greater Noida.
Between the lines
Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh had an interesting encounter with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday. The occasion was Sam Pitroda’s book launch. Rahul was mingling with other guests, many of whom he knew personally. As Singh approached Rahul and introduced himself, the latter smiled and said, “welcome to the club”. Singh has been at the receiving end of the government’s displeasure of late.