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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Madan Lal already on a sticky wicket

Former cricketer Madan Lal’s political innings has not started out on an auspicious note. The Congress,which gave him the ticket from Hamirpur...

Written by Ashwani Sharma | Published: March 28, 2009 12:55:56 am

Former cricketer Madan Lal’s political innings has not started out on an auspicious note. The Congress,which gave him the ticket from Hamirpur,is finding it tough to prove his credentials as a native of the district. Several members of the district Congress have resigned and PCC president Kaul Singh Thakur,who himself had been snubbed,is facing a revolt-like situation. Former CM Virbhadra Singh—now contesting from Mandi—also wants Madan Lal replaced. Both have openly backed Narinder Thakur,son of late BJP leader Jagdev Chand,ever since he revolted against Dhumal and joined the Congress. A BJP leader,meanwhile,remarked,“Madan Lal is a tourist,and will return as soon as polls are over”.

Prodigal princess returns to Jodhpur

She belongs to the royal family of Jodhpur but Chandresh Kumari’s political career took off only once she settled in Himachal Pradesh after marrying Raja Aditya Dev Chand Katoch. Now,the former Congress minister—-who lost the Assembly election in 2007 from Dharamsala — is all set to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Jodhpur. The former MP and all India Mahila Congress president,who is said to be close to party president Sonia Gandhi, had represented Kangra in 1984 and later had a stint in the Rajya Sabha. She was health minister in the Virbhadra Singh government before she was dropped during Cabinet downsizing. She was defeated by Krishan Kapoor,now a Cabinet minister. However,there is mixed reaction in the Congress over her return to Rajasthan since she hasn’t spent much time campaigning in Kangra. Now,an old Hindi film song “Mein maike chalee jaungee,tum dekhte rahiyo (I’ll go back to my maternal home,just you watch)” is being hummed in the hill state to allude to Chandresh’s flight to Jodhpur.

Dhumal asks Chief Secy to ‘explain’ scandals

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal is reeling under the repercussions of what is being viewed as the administrative machinery’s failures. This year,in particular,turned out to be quite a nightmare. The death of Aman Satya Kachroo due to ragging at a government-run medical college,sexual exploitation of minor girls at a Shimla-based NGO for special-needs children,a university professor involved in an ‘objectionable’ SMS case,and the huge bungling of the Catchment Area Treatment (CAT) plan exposed after the arrest of a divisional forest officer have caused a serious loss of face. Shaken by the incidents,Dhumal has shot off a letter to Chief Secretary Asha Swaroop asking her to find reasons for all lapses and to fix responsibility.

CM hits out at Centre for IPL blow

All arrangements were in place to prepare Dharamsala for its time in the cricketing spotlight. The newly built Rs 32-crore international cricket stadium,complete with the snow-covered Dhauladhar ranges in its backdrop,was all spruced up to host four matches and locals looked forward to extra business. The shifting of the IPL out of the country,therefore,came as a massive blow to the state. In fact,Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association president Anurag Thakur,the driving force behind the elaborate preparations,had the full backing of his father Prem Kumar Dhumal. Now,Dhumal is blaming the Centre for the shifting of the IPL matches,which he says has been a big loss to the state and has dented India’s international image. Whether this will translate into an election issue remains to be seen.

Who will be in the Union Cabinet?

Just who will represent the state in the next Union Cabinet is a question that’s causing frenzied speculation here. The fact that no one has a clue about which party or combine will form the government hasn’t stopped those in political circles from laying their bets. Currently,it is Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma,a Rajya Sabha member,representing Himachal but former chief minister and Congress leader Virbhadra Singh stands a good chance if he is elected,think political observers. If the NDA returns to power,the chatterati believe Shanta Kumar will be a hot favourite,or could it be the saffron party’s youthful face Anurag Thakur?

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