Many fans, but few cadres for Azhar (Poll Prattle)April 8th, 2009 - 6:26 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) There was a long chain of cars and motorbikes parked outside a hall in Moradabad town in Uttar Pradesh. But unless one peeked inside, there was nothing to hint that the man at the centre of all this attention was cricket star-turned-politician Mohammed Azharuddin!
Azharuddin is the Congress candidate from Moradabad, but there were no party banners outside the hall. Two cars carried small party flags. Inside too, there was just one poster put up by the party workers of Moradabad district.
Though the hall was jampacked, most of those present said they had come to have a glimpse of the former Indian cricket captain - and were not really interested in party deliberations!
When BJP had no comments on ‘Ram’
As the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) national spokesperson, Ravi Shankar Prasad is quite used to ducking tricky questions. But a poser on lawyer and former minister Ram Jethmalani had him stumped.
At a ‘Friends of BJP’ meet in Goa, he was asked why the BJP had given lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani a Lok Sabha ticket even though his father Ram Jethmalani had spoken of fighting the cause of Afzal Guru, a terror convict who the party believes should be hanged.
Prasad opted for a diplomatic pause, before quipping: “Mahesh Jethmalani is vastly different from his father”. Pointing to the media, he added, “The media is here. I don’t want to comment more.”
Polls take a toll on weddings
Some weddings in Madhya Pradesh are going for a toss, thanks to the elections. Government servants are putting off the weddings of their children as they have to report for poll duty and cannot go on leave.
“Polling will take place in our state April 23 and 30, so I am now looking for some other auspicious date,” said an employee of the state irrigation department whose elder daughter’s wedding was to be held April 24.
Rued an official in the state secretariat: “Elections are important but there should be some relaxation for those who have social commitments on hand. My daughter’s marriage has been fixed for April 28 but I am not being spared from poll duty despite repeated requests to the collector.
“On the other hand, the groom’s family is insisting on the same date. I am in a quandary.”
A different take on UPA
The UPA stands for United Progressive Alliance. But with several allies abandoning the coalition, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has a different take on the abbreviation.
“Ulta Pulta Alliance” is how Singh is describing it at election rallies in the state’s interiors. Singh belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which heads the rival National Democratic Alliance.
His version of the UPA is drawing a lot of laughs.
Tags: auspicious date, bharatiya janata party, congress candidate, cricket captain, elder daughter, government servants, indian cricket, irrigation department, Lok Sabha, mahesh, mohammed azharuddin, national spokesperson, party banners, poll duty, prattle, ram jethmalani, ravi shankar, state secretariat, tricky questions, two cars