Bajwa vs Capt: Season 2

After flexing his muscles on the day of installation of Partap Singh Bajwa as Punjab Congress president by hosting a lunch,his predecessor Capt Amarinder Singh chose to keep a low profile as face-offs between Bajwa and Leader of Opposition Sunil Jakhar made more news.

Updated: April 8, 2014 5:10 pm

Bajwa vs Capt: Season 2

After flexing his muscles on the day of installation of Partap Singh Bajwa as Punjab Congress president by hosting a lunch,his predecessor Capt Amarinder Singh chose to keep a low profile as face-offs between Bajwa and Leader of Opposition Sunil Jakhar made more news. After a restful holiday overseas,a rejuvenated Amarinder is back to play his innings in Season 2. He has announced his own Punjab tour in September even as Bajwa’s tour is still on. Bajwa,who is trying to assert his authority and create his own team of loyalists,went to the extent of announcing names of candidates for Lok Sabha and even Assembly polls. The names have ruffled the feathers of Capt’s confidants such as Arvind Khanna prompting Amarinder to question Bajwa’s authority to announce candidates. The ruling Akalis,who had started to feel the heat of an aggressive opposition could not have asked for more. Why panic when there are enough fireworks within the party?

Different perceptions

Faced with a set of uncomfortable questions regarding illegal colonies in Punjab,deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal found an easy way out. To every such question he said he would personally travel to the illegal colonies and initiate action. However what he did not realise is that he travels across Punjab in a helicopter and not by road. And at that height people look like ants and all buildings legal or illegal look like development.

Helpline for helplines!

Thanks to Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal,his home department has a helpline for almost everything and everyone. If the police is not responding to a complaint,call a police helpline. While many would argue that any state police works most at night hours,he has gone ahead and created a high-profile night police force,you can call through a helpline. Last week,he launched yet another helpline for women,children and the elderly. Interestingly,while the home minister is “securing” the citizens of Punjab,the Congress has its own vendetta helpline for those “harassed” by Sukhbir’s men. Watch this space for an update on the many helplines,lest you dial the wrong one. Say the police helpline to complain against Akali vendetta!

Number game

The newly appointed assistant media advisor to the government Vineet Joshi seemed to be in competition mode when he invited half the state at his installation ceremony. He wanted to make sure that the numbers he could gather are more than that of another recently appointed media advisor. Needless to say the assistant advisor won hands down. Half the state,or at least those who matter,actually landed at the ceremony and a beaming assistant media advisor was all smiles when facing the camera. A detailed press release listed the names of all “eminent” personalities who turned up to bless him.

Khemka blues…

The Haryana Government has chosen to maintain utter silence when it comes to countering or rebutting the observations and findings of its own senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka in the so-called Robert Vadra-DLF land deals. While Khemka,in an unprecedented move,is openly voicing his findings and opinion in public on such “sham sales” and demanding a thorough probe by an independent investigating agency,the Haryana government has virtually dumped his comments running into 105-pages. The top officers of Haryana government have observed a complete silence on the issue and are not ready to discuss the subject. All that the officers say is that the matter was investigated and looked into at the highest level and nothing wrong has been found on the government’s part. But the fact remains that both government and Khemka are contradicting each other on the Vadra-DLF land deals,and one of the two is wrong.

High ambitions

Senior Congress leader Birender Singh recently displayed a show of strength by holding a massive Sadbhavna rally in Jind on the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi. However,his rally failed to find much favour with the party high command since the Congress president Sonia Gandhi did not turn up. There had been an ongoing tussle between Birender Singh and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to prove to 10 Janpath who is the leader of the masses. Hooda has already proved his mettle by being in power for two consecutive terms,and now Birender is trying to show the party high command that he can also pull crowds in Haryana and shouldn’t be ignored. While Hooda is facing a lot of competition within the Congress,Birender has managed to earn support from Hooda rivals within the party. So far Hooda has been scoring more brownie points than Birender,but it remains to be seen if Birender can actually overshadow Hooda in the eyes of party high command for the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha polls in the State scheduled for next year.

From wrestler to professor

Now why do national-level wrestlers,after having won several medals at the national level,want to obtain PhD degrees? This was the obvious question which cropped up in the minds of lawyers and litigants who were bemused when they heard a lawyer arguing on behalf of the duo challenging denial of admission to PhD by a Haryana University. Future security,the answer is simple,explained one of the wrestlers. After having wrestled for many years,the two,in their early 30s,want to obtain PhDs in physical education so that they can settle down as Professors.

Behind the curtain

Different stories are doing the rounds regarding the “incentive” for which warring Panipat MLA Balbir Pal Shah withdrew his resignation and stood beside Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. When Shah resigned he attacked the chief minister on the charge of regional bias and had been blabbering that he won’t take back his resignation till the party high command intervenes. He was so furious that he even attacked Hooda’s rival Rajya Sabha member Birender Singh though it was widely believed that Birender had a role in his resignation. Birender had met Shah in the morning and by the evening Shah gave his resignation by going to the residence of Vidhan Sabha speaker Kuldeep Sharma. No one was expecting it to be an easy task to bring Shah back without conceding to his demands which he put on record regarding development of Panipat. But Hooda’s magic wand (or a behind the curtains ‘deal’) worked and he not only convinced Shah to withdraw his resignation but also brought him on stage along with him at the Panipat rally where he launched the food security scheme. The guessing game is on as to what may have happened behind the curtains.

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