Missing ’stars’ give nightmares to parties (Political Prattle)

November 17th, 2008 - 11:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) With less than two weeks to go before the Delhi assembly polls, star campaigners have become a cause of worry for both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and TV actress Smriti Irani are expected to address rallies for the BJP while Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi were to campaign for the ruling party, but they all are yet to be seen in the political arena.

Polls in Delhi are scheduled for Nov 29.

The BJP, heavily banking on the issue of terrorism for attacking the Congress, was hoping to draw huge crowds with Modi but his absence so far is giving party leaders jitters.

Even Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), hoping for a good show after great performance in municipal elections here, finds itself in a piquant situation. It is relying on its president, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, to campaign for its candidates.

The BSP had earlier announced Mayawati would address a number of rallies in the capital. But there is no sign of her so far.

It could be that all of them are waiting for the last leg of campaigning - hoping to stay fresh in the minds of the voters.

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Time for more harassment!

With state elections in full swing, the Congress party wants to beef up its briefing schedule.

Usually, the Congress holds its press briefing three days a week. However, it announced Monday that press briefings will be held five days a week till elections are over.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters jokingly: “Now we will have more time to harass you and you will also have more time to harass us.”

From the campaign schedule of the Congress, it looks as if it wants to hold more of its interactive meetings inside the conference rooms rather than in the field.

Till now Congress president Sonia Gandhi has not addressed any public meeting in any of the states going to polls. The party has not finalised any schedule for her public meetings either.

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Delhi government helpless in providing security to citizens

It seems the Delhi government cannot do anything to provide security to people living in the national capital. According to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, they have to depend on the central government for safety of the citizens.

“We can just raise the security issue with the central government but cannot do anything,” Dikshit said while releasing the party manifesto for Delhi elections.

Given the limited powers of the Delhi government, police matters come under the central government.

The manifesto is silent on the security issue in the national capital even as it promises to seek a “special status” for Delhi.

Dikshit was widely criticised for her comments on the murder of young TV journalist Saumya Vishwanathan on the night of Sep 30. Dikshit had said: “One should not be too adventurous.”

A big question mark was put on the security of citizens after the horrifying incident.

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