Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar carries several hand sanitisers whenever he travels and also asks party leaders to follow good hygiene practices. His party, however, doesn’t like it when it is linked to the Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat campaign. JD(U) leaders maintain that Nitish was practicing these things long before Narendra Modi began the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Recently, one JD(U) leader in Delhi, who has the habit of counting currency by putting saliva on his fingers, was gently reprimanded by the Bihar CM. Nitish also recommended him a book that talks about contamination spread by dirty currency notes.
In A Twist
BJP national general secretary P Muralidhar Rao is having a tough time dealing with a slip of the tongue during a speech in Karnataka recently. Addressing a party meeting, Rao said that the Congress will get more than 150 seats in the coming Assembly elections and form the government. Having realised his mistake, Rao corrected himself — that the BJP will form the government with over 150 seats — but the slip-up had done the damage. Video clips of that one sentence started circulating on social media. Rao finally had to request the party’s social media cell to release the entire speech to counter the campaign.
Following FCRA action against Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), barring the NGO from receiving foreign funds, officials of the adolescent health division of the Health Ministry are a confused lot. There is a prestigious conference of the International Academy for Adolescent Health coming up later this year in which PHFI is one of the partners. Officials are not sure whether the conference can go ahead, or it needs to be realigned. Last week’s launch of a hypertension campaign by the Indian Council of Medical Research, in partnership with PHFI, has, however, raised hopes that it might be business as usual, after all.
For long, many in the Congress have raised questions on the performance of the party’s social media department. On Monday, Lok Sabha MP Deepender Hooda, who was in charge of the cell, was quietly replaced. In came former Lok Sabha MP from Karnataka Ramya Divya Spandana. Hooda apparently told some leaders that he was quitting on his own. Many believe he has been sacked. Ramya took over the charge quietly and held a meeting with the social media team and also had dinner with them. The party is yet to announce the change.