Off the record

‘Wrestler’ Mulayam and Modi's ‘chest’ 

BJP prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi and Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav have been having a duel these days, quite literally. 

Modi's barb at Mulayam at the former's recent Gorakhpur rally that the SP leader lacked the guts to develop UP immediately evoked a challenge from the SP leaders. “Netaji (Mulayam), aap ki haisiyat nahin hai ki aap UP ko Gujarat bana saken... iske liye 56 inch ka seena lagta hai” (Mulayam lacks capabilities to turn UP into Gujarat... it requires a chest measuring 56 inches...a term used by the one who is physically very strong).

The response from the supporters of Mulayam, who has been a wrestler in his youth, came almost immediately. “Mulayam has defeated many a wrestler during his young age. Modi should know it,” said Azam Khan, a senior SP leader.

“Aisi patkhani denge ki yaad karenge” (Mulayam will put Modi on the mat in such a way that he will always remember), he added.

It remains to be seen if Modi accepts Mulayam's challenge.

Sanjay Pandey, Lucknow

Leaving behind safe haven

Even as pre poll surveys are giving a clear edge to Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi over his other opponents, the BJP here is not too sure from where the CM is expected to contest for the forthcoming Lok Sabha Polls. While senior leaders of the party here point out that the safest option for Modi would be to contest from Gujarat, they agree that it would definitely not send out the right signal for the voters and draw criticism from his opponents. 

“He has to contest out of Gujarat to prove the real index of his popularity,” said a senior party leader here. Contesting from Gujarat would give his opponents a chance to say that Modi would not want to step out of his safe haven. While many predict that Modi would chose to contest from Lucknow , there are others who say he might chose the neighbouring states of Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh.Swati Bhan, Ahmedabad

Maneka fear and dog menace

A dead dog recently tested the efficiency of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC)! Keeping up with its traditions, the SMC proved to be inefficient enough to dispose off the dog’s body for nearly a week. 

It was heart-rendering to see stinking corpse of a dog lying in a posh Srinagar colony. Though the locals had informed the SMC authorities about the inconvenience caused by the decomposing body, the officials lied that they had disposed off the body. Finally, the SMC officials accorded final journey to the dog after the locals approached the journalists. 

While you are reading these lines, hundreds of dogs are roaming on the streets of the City and occasionally some of them get crushed under fast moving vehicles and rot on streets. Other school of thought says the SMC is not controlling the dog population due to fear of animal rights activist, Maneka Gandhi. It seems the Srinagarites will continue to suffer till the Municipal authorities get the nod, from Maneka, to control the dog population!

Zulfikar Majid, Srinagar

Children save the day 

It takes some deft moves to mobilise a decent crowd, that too for a street-corner political event in Tamil Nadu. The AIADMK's Harbour zone secretary C Karthavarayan realised this when he set up a drinking water booth in compliance with party chief J Jayalalitha's diktat. 

But, the bigger challenge was when he was informed that VIPs would be gracing the formal unveiling of the water booth. Nervous about they being greeted by empty chairs for the event, especially since it was a scorching day, Karthavarayan did some quick thinking. 

He approached the children playing cricket nearby and struck a deal with them -- if they "graced" the occasion they would get water melon juice, lemonade and buttermilk. Thus, the children saved the day for the party functionary. They clapped and they cheered for the VIPs but they also extracted their pound of flesh for being deprived of their play time by demanding more fruits and more cool drinks from Karthavarayan!

Sathyanarayana, Chennai

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