A cool holiday before polls hot up (Political Prattle)

March 17th, 2009 - 7:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) Most Indian politicians may be sweating it out at the moment to make or break crucial alliances. But not Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal who is holidaying abroad.
Badal, who is also Akali Dal president and son of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, has taken off for Thailand with his family, barely a month before the April-May general elections begin.

Perhaps he feels the break is well earned as his party has already finished the first phase of campaigning in the state even as opposition Congress is yet to decide its candidates.

Or perhaps he needs a holiday before election fever reaches its peak. After all this is the first major poll he faces after taking over reins of the party from his father.

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Late Pramod Mahajan makes himself heard

Guess what is fast disappearing off the shelves at a shop in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters? A CD on how to make a speech - by late party leader Pramod Mahajan.

The party shop run by BJP activist Amit Gautam has all kinds of publicity material, including bags, posters and books. But the CDs are a real hit.

“The CDs are much sought after even when there are no elections. But now they are very much in demand and are selling like hot cakes,” Gautam told IANS. Titled “Bhashankala”, the CDs were originally made in 2005 when Mahajan was still alive.

On a day when BJP candidate from Pilibhit, Varun Gandhi, was hit by controversy for his alleged anti-Muslim speech, one leader quipped: “Varun could have taken lessons from this CD.”

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When Navjot Singh Sidhu kept mum!

It is hard to imagine cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu keeping quiet in front of an audience of thousands, as he never fails to make use of his gift of the gab.

But the Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Amritsar stunned many when he did not utter a word at a political meet in his constituency.

Sidhu is a regular feature on television, sometimes commenting on cricket and at other times cracking jokes on a comedy show on television. He must have had his reasons and probably knows when it pays to talk or laugh!

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Just poster boy or PM-in-waiting?

The first lot of Congress posters displayed in Delhi had three prominent faces - that of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party chief Sonia Gandhi and her MP son Rahul Gandhi. But now there is a “big” change.

Some of the city’s known spots are plastered with king-size posters of Rahul Gandhi, who many dub as the Congress’ prime minister-in-waiting.

Is it just a strategy to woo young voters with the image of the suave Congress general secretary or is there more to it than meets the eye?

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