Off the record

From Shotgun to Devgn

Though the BJP had named party MP from Patna Sahib, Shatrughan Sinha, as one of the 40 star campaigners for the Bihar Assembly poll, the services of Shotgun were never used in his home state arguably for the first time in the last 25 years. Instead, the party relied more on Ajay Devgn, who has little to do with Bihar, but was still roped in to pull crowds at the BJP rally. The move, however, boomeranged as Devgn visited Bihar twice for campaigning but could not address any public meeting even once. 

The first such occasion was at Parbatta in Khagaria where the crowd, on seeing the actor, became so over-enthusiastic that Devgn had to fly back without addressing them. Similar incident took place at Biharsharif in Nalanda. As the crowd became violent, police had to lathi-charge. In return, the mob pelted stones. As a result, ‘Devgn show’ was abandoned. But scores of injured cops and locals were left licking their wounds.
Abhay Kumar, Patna

Pawar games

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has ruled out bailing out the BJP if the Shiv Sena walked out of the coalition in Maharashtra. In fact, he has even said power was like a block of jaggery and termed the BJP and Shiv Sena as ants drawn to it, sucking as much sweetness as they could. Yet, eight months after he invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his home turf, Pawar has fuelled speculation in political circles by hosting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at Baramati. Jaitley spent a night at Pawar's Govind Baug residence near Baramati.

The next day, the FM praised Pawar's contribution in making his home turf Baramati as one of the most developed regions in the country. Last year, Pawar's party had offered "unconditional outside support" to the BJP after the latter emerged as the single largest party to stake claim to form government after Assembly elections. The Sena can only feel more bitter!
Shekhar Iyer, New Delhi

Key absentees

India is facing acute shortage of pulses that have sent prices out of reach of the common man. However, the key persons who should be leading the initiative to ensure availability of the kitchen staple -- Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh and Consumer Affairs Minister Ramvilas Paswan are busy with campaigning for the Bihar Assembly election.

Their absence from Delhi has the sanction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Senior officials from the two ministries are coordinating with the PMO and the Cabinet Secretariat in tackling the pulses situation.   
Sagar Kulkarni, New Delhi

Listing woes

At times, listing of a particular case in Supreme Court leaves much to be desired. It not only delays the hearing but makes the judges also face awkward situation. Recently, in a case relating to a medical college seeking extension of admiss-ion deadline, a senior advocate pointed out before the bench that a coordinate bench has passed an order allowing the plea in case of another college.

The judges were quick to say, let the matter then be posted before that bench only as it would be better suited in the circumstances. But the senior advocate was not ready to budge, saying it would further prolong the matter as time was running out. He went on to say the Supreme Court of India of late has become the SUPREME COURTS (Italicised) of India, indicating lack of consistency in pronouncing orders in similar cases.
Ashish Tripathi, New Delhi

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