Off the record

Off the record

Positioning leaders

Whether the BJP will be in a position to form the government or not is totally a different issue, but positioning for the top post is at its zenith.

By now, at least two contenders have emerged for the post – BJP president Rajnath Singh and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.

They are not limiting their campaign to their own constituencies, but articulating national discourse in a style which gives some indication of their ultimate goal.

Styles are necessarily different. While the former is overtly trying to project himself as another A B Vajpayee, the latter is covertly articulating on every issue- right from appointments by outgoing government to prospects of the Third Front.

However, two earlier contenders, LK Advani and Sushama Swaraj seem to have adopted some other methods.

They are silent and waiting for the right moment to come. But this interesting political game is only confined to the power corridors of the national capital.

The big contest is yet to open before the common public. They will have to wait till the BJP really reaches the magic score!

Anil Sinha, New Delhi  
Jinxed house No 18

Wannabe ministers and legislators in the new BJP government have already started making efforts to get their hands on a plush accommodation in Civil Lines area.

Interestingly, politicians across party lines are at unease with the very idea of occupying bungalow No 18.

For some strange reason and events surrounding the earlier occupants of the buildings, the residence is considered jinxed by most legislators.

Most of the elected representatives, who lived here, have either lost the elections or seen events conspiring against them just ahead of polls.

None of the legislators this time has evinced interest in the fateful house.

Former food minister Babulal Nagar occupied the bungalow in 2008 and was jailed just before the assembly polls in 2013 for his alleged involvement in a rape case.

His predecessor Pratap Singhvi got embroiled in a controversy over worshipping then CM Vasundhara Raje in an avatar of a Hindu goddess.

Jaipur MP Mahesh Joshi and other leaders like Manglaram Kohli and Hari Kumar Audichya who held ministerial berths in state government also failed to make a comeback in local politics of state after residing in this bungalow.

Abhishek Gaur, Jaipur

Surprise visitors

As the gongs fell silent on the Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka, it was but a foregone conclusion that Vidhan Soudha would be deserted till the declaration of the results on May 16.

With ministers, bureaucrats, and the common man, making only sporadic appearances, few would have guessed that the deserted corridors of power would attract animals to its premises.

First it was an owl, then a monkey.

In last one week, in a place where ministers make much of the commotion and derive extensive coverage from the media, it was these visitors which grabbed the limelight.

While the owl created a lot of excitement with people equating its presence as a bad omen for the Congress regime, the monkey provided comic relief to people who compared it to the absentee ministers and bureaucrats.

In the end, where policies were to make an impression, the animals became the talk of the town.

Perhaps, as one journalist said, it is best for all parties concerned that governance return to the corridors of power before it becomes yet another wildlife corridor.

Sandeep Moudgal, Bangalore

Timely help

Premalatha, the wife of actor-turned-politician and DMDK chief Vijayakanth, came to her husband’s rescue at the right time when the leader was abo-ut to cast his vote in Chennai.

When Vijayakanth's chance came, he went near the electronic voting machine and was confused how to handle it.

Though the polling officials were hesitating to help, Premalatha quickly went and taught the actor how to use the EVM.

When the couple took some time near the EVM, poll officials asked Premalatha to leave the place as her act was against the law.

However, to avoid the embarrassment of Vijayakanth, she took her own time not only to help her husband but also exercised her franchise.

Premalatha said it was the officials, who should have helped her hubby and instead everyone kept quite.

R Sathyanarayana, Chennai

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