Off the record

R Krishnakumar, December 28, 2015, Thiruvananthapuram

Nursing LS ambitions

The popular perception about Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s offensives against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley are that he is venting his anger against the Centre for infringing upon his rights to rule the national capital. People also feel that this is a typical Kejriwal’s style of addressing his masses. But, there are a few others in the power corridor who view his aggression as nothing but a positioning for future politics.

“What is in it which may further future politics of Kejriwal?” a media person throws the question to a political observer. “As far as recent future is concerned, the Aam Aadmi Party is eyeing for Punjab assembly elections. The party has fair chances to win them. The next target must be 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Do you think he has forgotten his defeat in Varanasi?” replies the political pundit. Though the conversation does not lead to any definite view, most people agree that the current battle between the AAP and the BJP has something to do with the future political ambitions of the Delhi Chief Minister.
Anil Sinha, New Delhi

Gyrating under lens and cops

Dance bars have become a major issue for the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP-Shiv Sena saffron alliance government in Maharashtra. The Supreme Court has asked it to reopen the dance bars that were closed in 2005 by the then Congress-NCP Democratic Front dispensation. However, the government, to avoid any further embarrassment from the apex court or before taking a legislative route, has come out with a set of 26 guidelines.
These include relaying a live feed of the performances to the police control room, with four dancers on the stage at a time and a five-feet distance between the stage and customer seating area. There is also a ban on dragging the dancers on the floor and hurling of money. This is further compounding the problem as people are now raising the issue of privacy. The Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association, however, has said that it would take up the issue with the government.
Mrityunjay Bose, Mumbai

Cong’s gory sycophancy

Congress leaders and workers across the country are known for their public display of loyalty towards the Gandhi family. But party leaders in Odisha recently demonstrated their support to the first family in a unique fashion that would remain in the minds of observers for long. The day Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi appeared in a Delhi court for the National Herald case, state Congress leaders and workers staged a demonstration in Bhubaneswar like many of their colleagues in different parts of the country.

However, before the programme, the leaders landed at the state Congress headquarters to put their signature on a banner with their own blood! They pierced one of their fingertips with a pin and smeared the oozing blood on the white banner before putting their signatures beside the blood stain. The banner carried two slogans at the top — “Sonia ji, we are with you” and “Rahul ji, our blood is for you.” Sycophancy, perhaps, knows no limit.
S T Beuria, Bhubaneswar

Lost in translation

K Surendran, a regular BJP face in Kerala’s television debates, recently found himself speechless – and worse, on a party stage which had Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Surendran, assigned to translate Modi’s Hindi speech during a function in Thrissur, started with a blooper. His translation of the opening lines did not quite reflect what the PM said. As Modi resumed, Surendran mumbled on the microphone: “I can’t hear you”. V Muraleedharan, the state BJP president, took over as translator then.

Surendran’s woes, however, had only begun. He was trolled on social media even after his clarification that there were audibility issues and it had nothing to do with his Hindi. Surendran, incidentally, had translated Modi’s speeches during his earlier visits. Congress MLA V T Balram summed the mood up by posting a Hindi alphabet chart on his Facebook page. Surendran, last heard, is ready to translate again. Double-check on the microphones, please!

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