Gunning for a rival - and his wife (Poll Prattle)

May 10th, 2009 - 8:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, May 10 (IANS) A spouse often doesn’t get dragged into the electoral battle between candidates. But that’s what is happening in the Mandi constituency of Himachal Pradesh.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Maheshwar Singh is busy chastising only his Congress rival and five-time chief minister Virbhadra Singh but also the latter’s wife and sitting MP Pratibha Singh.

Speaking in the local dialect, Maheshwar Singh never forgets to tell voters: “Virbhadra ney itna dukhi nahin kiya jitna usadi laadi ney kita. Politics mein ladi ka bhi kaafi role hota hai (Virbhadra has not disappointed people as much as his wife. Spouses also have a crucial role to play in politics).”

Pratibha Singh had after all defeated Maheshwar Singh by 66,566 votes from the same seat.

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BJP workers meet - to watch IPL

Polling has long ended in Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow, but Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers are still continuing to meet regularly at the press room. They are not discussing politics though.

They are busy enjoying watching IPL matches being telecast from South Africa. The TV housed inside the press room is the only mode of entertainment for party workers.

“After coming to office, we have virtually nothing to do for the party as polling has ended in Lucknow. So we watch IPL on TV to keep ourselves engaged,” said a party worker.

The journalists there are certainly not complaining.

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Media, money, madness in Punjab polls

The 2009 general elections are turning out to be an expensive affair for some candidates in Punjab, thanks to the media.

If some candidates are to be believed, media houses and journalists are openly demanding money to put up stories or to cast these away during election time. And the money in question runs into several millions of rupees for each candidate.

Much of the goings-on are with the vernacular media, especially one media group with a good reach among people.

The place, content and other factors dictate the price for a story. Surely, this election will ensure that the ‘garibi hatao’ (eradicate poverty) slogans work for a select few media people - as they will surely be millionaires by the end of the five-phase polls!

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Calling names gets ‘obnoxious’

If anyone needed proof that former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has no love lost for Akali Dal president and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, he or she should have watched the Congress leader on TV.

When a television channel recently got Amarinder Singh live to discuss Punjab politics, he went on to refer to Badal junior as “that obnoxious little brat”.

The ‘obnoxious brat’ reference surely brought some memories back. Another Punjabi, spinner Harbhajan Singh, was described as an “obnoxious weed” by Australian opener Mathew Hayden during a radio interview. The reference had left a lot of bad blood between the Indian and Australian sides.

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