September 23, 2013 5:20:06 am
When other political parties are formulating their strategy for the Lok Sabha election,Congress leaders are busy learning tricks on smart phones and social networking sites. Rather than discussing political issues,they can be seen showing off their latest smart phones and asking each other,How much did your phone cost? Or,Does it have WhatsApp? The pressure from the party to be active on social networking sites is so much that some of the leaders have started taking daily lessons from their children or young party workers. But many doubt the strategy to counter the BJP in cyber space. It is good to learn something new,but wasting the workers energy on countering others does not seem like a good idea,especially when majority of those active on the Internet do not go out to vote, said a party leader.
After the communal violence,Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav planned a visit to Muzaffarnagar last Friday. His securitymen reached there a day before. Muslim cleric Arshad Madani was asked to facilitate Mulayam’s visit and ensure that there were no protests,unlike during Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s visit. Arshad Madani toured the relief camps,but the feedback was not very encouraging. Since Friday would have also meant bigger crowds during Juma Namaz,Mulayam thought it better to cancel his visit.
Policemen at Naka police station in Lucknow were surprised when a cavalcade,led by a red-beacon car,arrived at the unearthly hour of 2.30 am. Hurriedly,the policemen took positions,donned their caps and stood in attention to welcome the VIP. Former chief minister N D Tiwari alighted and,surrounded by securitymen,went inside the police station. Tiwari asked them about several vehicles parked outside. He was informed that the vehicles had been seized for traffic rules violations. Tiwari patted the SHO. He said the purpose of his visit was to meet the inspector who patrols his area riding a horse. Immediately,an inspector saluted Tiwari and introduced himself. A happy Tiwari praised him and left,leaving the policemen amused.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Khan,who had become inaccessible to the media after skipping the SP national executive meeting in Agra,has turned media friendly. The change came after his name figured in a sting operation aired by a TV channel. First,Azam called media to give a clarification and later agreed to every journalists request for an exclusive interview. So,everyone got the opportunity,the questions remained more or less the same,and Azam patiently replied.
BJP MLA Sangeet Singh Som skipped the first two days of the Assembly session,fearing arrest in connection with the Muzaffarnagar riots,although his colleagues,Hukum Singh and Suresh Rana,who were also named in the FIR,attended the House. Later,when Som decided to attend the assembly to explain his position,he approached Uma Bharti for help. Som believed he would not be arrested if he accompanied Uma Bharti. So,he accompanied her to the Assembly. At the end of the day,he left the Assembly with Uma Bharti and other party MLAs. BJP leaders claimed that their support prevented Soms arrest. But senior police officials clarified they had decided not to arrest any MLA until the session got over.
One for security
The state government provides one gunman for the security of each MLA and MLC,but it seems that is not sufficient. The Legislative Council was discussing the government’s reply to a question from Dhruv Kumar Tripathi regarding theft of four-wheelers and two-wheelers,when the Teachers Group leader Om Prakash Sharma pointed out that Tripathis Bolero had been stolen from Vidhayak Niwas in Lucknow. BSP MLC Prashant Chaudary stood up and said his three vehicles had been stolen from outside his office in Ghaziabad. The Chairman remarked,You have lot many vehicles. Chaudhary replied that if his vehicles kept getting stolen that way,he would soon be left without any. Therefore,the government should provide security for the vehicles of MPs,MLAs and MLCs,he said.
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