BJP president Amit Shah visited Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency twice in a week, setting the focus on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency. Modi is in the fray for a second term in Parliament, and there are 25 candidates against him. Shah had visited Varanasi last week to inaugurate the party’s media centre for eastern UP and Lok Sabha election office of Varanasi. He toured Varanasi this Tuesday and held meetings with party functionaries of two dozen constituencies of eastern UP. From next week, a party leader said, several Union ministers and other national leaders will start touring and camping in the PM’s constituency.
The Election Commission’s presence on social media had been without controversy. On Thursday, however, the EC’s voter awareness Twitter handle (@ECISVEEP), in a faux pas, tweeted a video of the weekly media briefing of the Ministry of External Affairs. The tweet drew a lot of flak as the Commission is meant to maintain an arm’s-length relationship with the government. It was taken down immediately once the mistake was noticed. It’s unclear whether it was someone at EC or a third-party agency handling the account that caused the embarrassment.
Poetry Amid Poll
Amid the hectic work during the staggered polls, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa had a “poetic” interlude. He was at India International Centre on Thursday to launch a book —- Fragrant Words, A Collection of Poems —- by bureaucrat Rajni Sekhri Sibal. He said he had completed the book, which he got the previous night. Another guest, Union minister Kiren Rijijju, said the event provided relief for him as he had heard “only zindabad and murdabad” all these days. Lavasa avoided any reference to his work, and instead praised Sibal, a fellow Haryana-cadre officer, for her work and beauty of her poetic expression. He also wondered how she managed to coordinate civil servants to get work on the book done —- Uma Singh, an IAS officer, designed the cover while another officer, TK Manoj Kumar, did the illustrations.