Updated: January 11, 2022 6:43:01 am
With Defence Minister Rajnath Singh testing positive for Covid-19 on Monday, and joining several Union ministers who contracted the virus earlier — Mahendra Nath Pandey, Bharati Pawar, Nityanand Rai and Rajeev Chandrasekhar — BJP strategists are hoping that the wave will subside soon, and by the time candidates are announced in the five poll-bound states, the leaders will be ready to hit the campaign trail. While all the ministers have a hectic campaign schedule, the good news for the party is they have got mild symptoms and will manage with home quarantine. Singh on Monday tweeted, “I have tested positive for Corona today with mild symptoms. I am under home quarantine. I request everyone who have recently come in my contact to isolate themselves and get tested.”
Back & in poll business: After a nearly two-week foreign trip, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is back in India. He returned Sunday night and one of his first meetings was with P Chidambaram, party’s senior observer for Goa, and K C Venugopal to take stock of election preparations in the state. The meeting was interesting since Congress leaders have claimed that the TMC had been reaching out to it, evincing interest for an electoral cooperation. One central leader said that some of the senior Goa leaders got calls from TMC election strategist Prashant Kishor. But the central Congress leaders strongly rejected any possibility of a tie-up with the Trinamool, arguing that joining hands with the party that has poached several of its leaders would be suicidal. One leader said there was a very strong sentiment in Goa Congress against any association with TMC.
Vote for…cauliflower: A syringe, a pen nib with seven rays, a hat and a javelin being thrown — these are some of the interesting common symbols allotted by the Election Commission (EC) to eight registered, unrecognised political parties in the poll-bound states of Goa, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Manipur. Former Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s new party, Punjab Lok Congress, has been allotted ‘hockey and a ball’ as its symbol. Among other interesting symbols allotted are a TV set, telephone, ship, road-roller, fountain — and even a cauliflower. The EC on Monday wrote to chief electoral officers of the states and said the returning officers may allot these common symbols.
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