A day before Jama Masjid Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari was set to officially declare his support for the Congress after Friday prayers, there was dissent in his own household. His brother, Yahya Bukhari, found fault with his decision to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi. He said this had compromised his position, blaming the Congress for the plight of Muslims in the country. Yahya heads the Jama Masjid United Forum.
The last two months have seen an influx of foreign journalists wanting to understand the “Modi wave”. The BJP has been flooded with requests from journalists of all nationalities for interviews or briefings on Modi — but with specific interests in mind. So if scribes from Europe and Canada want to know Modi’s position on FDI, tourism, culture and economy, Japanese and Australian journalists want to find out what he would do to contain China’s influence. Those from South East Asia are curious about possible country-specific bilaterals with a Modi-led government, while scribes from our neighboring countries think he may come up with a fresh perspective and help de-escalate tensions. With China already doing business with Modi, its journalists are asking questions about increased collaboration, while American scribes continue to be interested in the 2002 riots.
Many of those keen on finding out the details of assets and liabilities filed by Congress candidate Shashi Tharoor in his sworn affidavit with his nomination papers were disappointed. The reason: Tharoor chose to fill the details in Malayalam.
The BJP’s Chandni Chowk candidate, Harshvardhan, met editors of Urdu newspapers on Thursday and requested them to ensure “justified coverage” for the next few days. He reportedly told them that since Muslim voters seldom read other newspapers, his only way of reaching out to them was through their publications.
He may have opted to sit out for the Lok Sabha elections on health grounds but the Congress has once more shown faith in Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari. Tewari is back at the helm of the party’s communications department. He replaces New Delhi Congress candidate Ajay Maken.