Lalu’s ‘Chak de’ line came from his daughter

February 27th, 2008 - 8:07 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh
(From the corridors of power)

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) Railway Minister Lalu Prasad has received applauds for his “populist” railway budget and also his trademark one-liners in his budget speech Tuesday. But sources close to him said his hit “Chak de” comment was contributed by his daughter. According to the sources, the railway minister has not even watched last year’s mega hit Shah Rukh Khan-starrer “Chak De! India”. It was his daughter Ragini who asked him to use the popular phrase in his budget speech.

Detailing the multifarious achievements of the world’s largest rail network under a single management, Lalu Prasad said at one stage during his budget speech in parliament: “Goal pe goal daag rahe hai, Desh ka bachcha bole, ‘Chak de Railways!’” (We are scoring goal after goal, every child should say: ‘Chak De Railways’).


Electioneering with mobile phones

Managing the electioneering in a state with which you are not familiar is a task many senior political leaders have often faced. However, a minister in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cabinet, who was in charge of the Congress campaign in the recently held Tripura election, realised it was even tougher than handling an important portfolio.

The Congress leader was horrified by stories about how some local leaders cheated central leaders when it came to receiving the party fund for the elections. Apparently, some party leaders had earlier been deceived by local leaders, who claimed to be candidates and took the party funds meant for the candidates as election expenses.

To avoid such deception, the Congress this time secretly stored all candidates’ mobile numbers and photographs in a computer. When the candidates came to collect the money, each one was asked to give his/her mobile number to which the leader called to ensure the phone was with the candidate, and ensured that the photograph also matched!

Assembly elections were held in Tripura Feb 23 and the results are scheduled to be announced March 7.


Mukherjee’s calculations!

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has surprised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with his numerical skills. When Mukherjee returned from an eight-day trip to Brazil and South Africa earlier this month and met the prime minister, the latter reportedly asked him how his trip was.

“Oh! Of the 192 hours (of the trip), I was in the air for 74 hours,” Mukherjee reportedly told him. An amused prime minister wondered how he calculated the numbers so “precisely”.

“I did not have much to do in the flight. So I started calculating the hours I was going to spend in the air,” Mukherjee replied.

Apart from the official preparations for the eight-day trip, Mukherjee had to take some health precautions also. A troubling tooth had forced him to visit a dentist, who insisted that he should get a root canalling and a cavity filling done before his trip.

Incidentally, Mukherjee’s cabinet colleague Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, who has recently been appointed the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president, also had to go to the same doctor with the same complaint. And the doctor advised him too the same treatment before his first visit to West Bengal as the new PCC chief.

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