Lucknow Nama: Poll role

The BSP is the only party which does not allow reporters to enter its office.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: January 16, 2012 3:59 am

The BSP is the only party which does not allow reporters to enter its office. Sunday was a rare day when its massive gates opened for the media and Chief Minister Mayawati addressed her first press conference there. Unlike her interactions with the media at her official residence at 5,Kalidas Marg,Mayawati did not seem to be in a hurry to read out from her prepared statement and leave. She even took out some time to meet with reporters over lunch. This was also a rare occasion when none of the top bureaucrats was around. After the CM’s exit,PWD Minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui and Panchayat Raj Minister Swami Prasad Maurya stayed back and informally talked to the reporters,which was another first. Really,election brings about strange changes in politicians.

Guest matters

Azamgarh’s Shibli College has been served notice by the Election Commission to explain why it allowed Rahul Gandhi to stay at its guest house last week. Now,Samajwadi Party state president Akhilesh Yadav is also staying there. “We are just hosts,we don’t call anyone,” says Principal Asfar Faizan. During the freedom struggle,the college played host to several eminent personalities,including Motilal Nehru,Jawaharlal Nehru and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. It has been a very long time since a guest of such a stature visited the college. Incidentally,Akhilesh is staying in the same room where Rahul had stayed. But,unlike Rahul,he is not drawing crowds of students.

Same Nitish,another Modi

The BJP’s alliance with the Janata Dal(U) has come apart in UP,but the BJP will still project the “Bihar model” as its achievement in the election campaign. The Vision document that party president Nitin Gadkari is releasing on Monday reportedly contains glowing references to Bihar. Justifying it,party leader Sudheendra Kulkarni said BJP is a partner in the ruling alliance in Bihar and Sushil Kumar Modi is the deputy chief minister. But when Chief Minister Nitish Kumar comes campaigning for his party JD(U),whose claim on the Bihar model will carry greater credibility?

Different yardsticks

When Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath trashed the induction of Mayawati’s former family welfare minister Babu Singh Kushwaha in the BJP,the party leadership tried to calm him down,but in vain. Yogi kept up his attack on the “degradation of the party’s character’’. Next,Maneka Gandhi criticised the party’s decision. Yogi next announced that he is not going to campaign for the party. But still,he has been included in the list of the BJP’s “star campaigners”. However,the party lost no time in suspending state executive member IP Singh and another partyman Ramasheesh Rai for speaking up against Kuswaha’s induction. Both wonder why this selective retribution.

Bordering aspiration

Every time the BJP announces a list of candidates,Uma Bharti’s supporters are disappointed. Those close to Uma Bharti say she is keen to contest the election from Babina in Jhansi,which is close to Madhya Pradesh. There is a double benefit in getting elected from Babina. First,she would remain active in UP and second she can also keep a close watch on MP where her heart actually lies. But the BJP leadership believes that if she is allowed to contest in UP,she would automatically become the chief ministerial candidate which,they think,is not advisable.

Cast away

Six months after his appointment as chairman of the Congress media campaign committee in the state,Firozabad MP Raj Babbar’s chamber in UPCC office continues to await him. Sources said he was chosen for the job,thinking that he would be an attractive,articulate face of the party and,being a film actor,grab space on TV channels during the election. Asked about what had kept him away from the party office for so long,a Congress leader remarked,“We get no information on where is he and what he is doing.’’

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