off the record

off the record

Sidhu stays away

Punjab MLA Navjot Kaur, who is the wife of cricketer-turned-MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, is said to have conveyed to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal that her husband’s ouster of sorts from Amritsar is a gift to them. Her comments appear loaded with sarcasm given the bitterness that the Sidhu husband-wife duo now share with the Badal family, even with their state BJP unit.

While Sidhu’s MLA wife is campaigning for the BJP nominee Arun Jaitley from Amritsar, the ex-cricketer has not joined the campaign in support of his political mentor. The BJP and Jaitley may now require Navjot Sidhu’s active support more than ever before in wake of the fierce fight that the seat is witnessing post the entry of Congress top-notch leader and former CM Capt Amarinder Singh.

It now remains to be seen whether or not Sidhu joins Jaitley’s campaign in

Gautam Dheer in Chandigarh

RGV vs Owaisi!

It is indeed surprising to know how the rumour mills work but there is gossip going around that the maverick producer director Ramgopal Varma (RGV) will be contesting on Shiv Sena or BJP ticket this upcoming election.

While there is still no clarity if RGV really likes or supports the BJP, the
speculation is that he will be pitted against none other than the Majlis chief Asaduddin Owaisi at his home ground of Hyderabad. It is said that the rumour has stemmed from the political satires and gyan that Varma is spreading through Twitter account.

Varma had met Modi during his visit to Hyderabad last August and also was among the first to tweet that Tollywood actor Pawan Kalyan was slated to meet Modi in Ahmedabad last week.

Most authentic news channels and web portals published this news and here comes the clarification from the horse’s mouth. The director clarified it as false. RGV tweeted:
“Reports suggesting that I am contesting against Asaduddin Owaisi are false.”

JBS Umanadh in Hyderabad

Wazwan politics

Election time is often about mud-slinging. In Kashmir, the political parties have stretched it further: from washing dirty linen to dinning sheets. This time, wazwan (a multi-course meal in Kashmiri cuisine,) is on the boil while a political controversy surrounding this traditional delicacy is selling like hot cakes.

The other day, this mouth-watering delicacy was served by the ruling National Conference at its party headquarters in Srinagar. The cuisine relished by NC cadres somehow upset opposition Progressive Democratic Party. They could not stomach it and burped back saying that the dishes were ferried in police vehicles, a violation of model code of conduct.

The opposition wants a thorough probe. But while a formal complaint has been filed by the PDP, the NC has come out with a statement that the former is habitual of serving wazwan at party conventions even if the janata (people) are in trouble.
Hurling kababs and gushtabas (meatball in yogurt) while the two are fighting over Wazwan only to go fatter in election season, the aam aadmi wants them to be on diet.

Zulfikar Majid in Srinagar

Losing sheen

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) offices in Central Delhi and Kaushambi are comparatively less busier now. During the Delhi Assembly election, there used to be flurry of activity at these two party offices.

The major announcements from the party now come from Kejriwal's residence at Tilak Lane. Some insiders complain about the onset of 'high command' culture in the party. All the important decisions are taken by the 'big four' - Arvind Kejriwal, Yogendra Yadav, Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh, said a party member.

Others argue that due to the Lok Sabha elections, the party has spread out. The AAP nominees have their separate party offices in their respective constituencies. The fear of frequent protests is another reason pointed out by some party workers. With growing dissent within the party, especially during the ticket distribution, the AAP saw several protests by disgruntled members outside party offices.

Pratik Kumar in New Delhi