She was the face of the Congress for 15 long years in Delhi. Tuesday, when her party was decimated in the national capital, former chief minister Sheila Dikshit was away in Bhopal attending a family function. Her son Sandeep too avoided the media glare. There has been a churning in the Delhi Congress ever since Ajay Maken, one of Dikshit’s strongest detractors, was given the reins of the campaign. Dikshit had campaigned, but only for those candidates who sought her presence.
SWEETS GONE SOUR
The unexpected humiliating defeat for the BJP has poured cold water on the hopes of some sweets shop owners from whom the party used to buy laddoos to distribute. According to a staff at BJP office at Ashoka Road, some sweets were already ordered and kept in the bungalow adjacent to the party headquarters, but all were wasted. Even the canteen functioning on the office premises, which wore a deserted look, decided to make more “mathri” instead of sweet dishes. The otherwise vocal and zealous spokespersons, who had also lost their enthusiasm after the exit polls showed AAP surge, had to be pushed hard to make sound bites to the visual media.
Visiting US Coordinator for cyber issues Christopher Painter has come to India to discuss cooperation with the government, soon after US President Barack Obama’s visit. While his visit coincides with the Delhi assembly elections, he is said to have been quite impressed by the use of social media by political parties in the polls. An Indian official even told him that how social networking sites in India have been boosting political content and raking in moolah by charging the candidates in Delhi during the recently held polls.
After an eight-month delay, the Defence Ministry finally caught up with the rest of the government departments and opened its official Twitter account. The Twitter handle @spokespersonMoD was finally activated Tuesday by Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar. “This handle will disseminate authentic info and latest updates from the Indian Ministry of Defence,” the first tweet of the account said as it was re-tweeted instantaneously by 90 and liked by 40. Interestingly, within hours of the opening of the Twitter handle, it had over 2000 followers.
As the AAP’s victory in the Delhi assembly polls hogged all the limelight Tuesday, the Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet met late evening but failed to transact any major business. Amidst speculation that the Cabinet meeting had been preponed by a day — it usually meets every Wednesday — in anticipation of Tuesday’s results, sources indicated that the BJP’s poll debacle ensured that the Cabinet meeting was a sombre affair. Probably that’s why the Cabinet ended in a jiffy, without taking up many of the agenda items and clearing just one.