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Caught on a wrong foot

On the eve of the laptop distribution programme at Bareilly last week,local Samajwadi Party leaders made

Published: June 17, 2013 4:22:43 am

On the eve of the laptop distribution programme at Bareilly last week,local Samajwadi Party leaders made a new demand to the district administration. The backdrop of the stage from where Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav would be handing over the laptops to the students did not carry party president Mulayam Singh Yadav’s picture. Officials were in a tight spot as it was not possible to get a new backdrop with Mulayam’s picture at such a short notice. Frantic calls were made to other districts where Akhilesh had distributed laptops earlier. All confirmed that Mulayam did not feature in any of the canvas that formed the backdrop of such stage. When SP leaders did not relent,Bareilly officials informed Chief Minister’s Office about the local SP leaders’ demand. The CPM office told the district administration that there would be no change in the backdrop and asked them to furnish the names of the SP leaders who are making the demand. It was enough for the local SP leaders to vanish from the scene.

Foxing the foe

The day West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee floated the idea of a federal front,but did not count Mulayam Singh Yadav as part of her umbrella coalition of regional leaders,Samajwadi Party leaders got restless. Mulayam who was in Delhi then renewed his contacts the very next day with Mamata’s arch-rivals — the Left Front leaders — and spoke to Atul Anjan and A B Bardhan. The netaji’s signal to Mamata was clear — he will forge a third front with the help of Marxists.

Act praised

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s gesture on the death of former cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh earned him all-round praise. Singh had died in New Delhi on Wednesday. Due to his proximity to Mayawati,it was expected that BSP leaders will throng his house. On the contrary,only S C Mishra and Jaiveer Singh were the notable BSP leaders who turned up to offer condolences. On the other hand,Akhilesh had to leave for Bangalore on Thursday but he ensured that the state plane goes for ferrying Singh’s body to Lucknow.

curious detour

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi’s landing at Amhat airfield in Sultanpur last week and his decision to travel to his constituency Amethi by road criss-crossing Sultanpur came as a surprise to many local Congress leaders. In the past,Rahul as well as Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra preferred to land either at Lucknow airport or Fursatganj in Rae Bareli before visiting the two constituencies — Rae Bareli and Amethi. However,this time,Rahul not only landed in Sultanpur,but he also travelled about 15 km by road in the district. He stopped his cavalcade at every small market that he passed through to interact with locals. Despite being in the vicinity of Rae Bareli and Amethi,Rahul,Sonia and Priyanka kept their visits to Sultanpur — represented by Congress MP Sanjay Singh — limited. The short but interactive tour of Sultanpur by Rahul has left everyone wondering if it had anything to do with cousin Varun Gandhi,who in recent months has started frequently visiting Sultanpur,the seat once represented by his father Sanjay.

bowing to the shah

BJP national general secretary Amit Shah,in his first visit to UP,asked party workers to be more aggressive and active on public-related issues. Party state president Laxmikant Bajpai was the first to show that he was putting Shah’s words into action. On Thursday,when Shah was relaxing at Bajpai’s office after addressing a press conference,suddenly voltage started fluctuating. Shah enquired from Bajpai if such disturbance in power supply was a routine affair in the city. Bajpai immediately called the local district unit workers and asked them to stage a dharna in front of the office of Lucknow Electricity Supply Authority (LESA) on the issue of voltage fluctuation.

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