February 27, 2021 5:14:28 am
THE ELECTION Commission’s press conference on Friday to announce poll schedule for four states and a Union Territory was a special one for Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora. He retires in April 13 as CEC and it was his last presser before demitting office. He was visibly jovial and even indulged in light-hearted banter with journalists. At one point, before announcing the polling dates, Arora paused to thank the media for its support to the Commission while he was CEC. He then recalled what his mother had written to him in one of their correspondences to illustrate the principle he followed as CEC. It was a quote by Alexander Pope: “Act well your part: there all the honour lies.”
THAT WEST Bengal is a state that loves its football is no secret. So much so, that analogies to the sport are almost an incessant part of political speeches. On February 7, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the TMC had committed “many fouls”, while days later Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that she herself would be the goalkeeper and the BJP would not be able to score past her. In the aftermath of the ECI announcing an eight-phase election, Banerjee referred to football again, and said while states such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu had one phase, Bengal was a “football ground” where the opposition wanted to play for 23 days, saying that the TMC would emerge victorious.
THE “PAWRI ho rahi hai” fever seems to have reached the BJP as well. The popular trend on social media, which started with Pakistani influencer Dananeer Mobeen, has caught the imagination of the Internet, with versions of her clip “ye humaari car hai, ye hum hai, aur ye humaari pawri ho rahi hai” doing the rounds. At a rally in West Bengal on Friday, BJP president J P Nadda put his own spin to it and said: “Ye Bengal ki prabuddh janta hai, ye hum sab hai, aur Bengal mein parivartan ki taiyyari ho rahi hai.”
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