Why is Amitabh missing from campaign scene? (Political Prattle)

April 4th, 2009 - 5:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Amitabh Bachchan New Delhi, April 4 (IANS) Noticed something? Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan is conspicuously absent from the Samajwadi Party campaign scene.
With party general secretary Amar Singh being a close friend, Bachchan had campaigned extensively in the assembly elections of Uttar Pradesh in 2007. He had even featured in the party’s ads. But it suffered an embarrassing defeat at that time.

And now Bachchan seems to be nowhere around the heat and dust of politics even though his wife Jaya Bachchan is a party MP. Although it is still unclear whether he has distanced himself or the party has dropped him, his absence is surely another star, Sanjay Dutt’s, gain.

Dutt, who cannot contest from Lucknow after the Supreme Court refused to suspend his conviction for owning illegal arms, has become the star campaigner of the party.

The party has already appointed Dutt as its general secretary and has declared that he will be campaigning throughout the country.

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In the name of Ram!

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may have admittedly launched its manifesto on the birth anniversary of Hindu god Ram, but there is hardly any party in India that does not try to score brownie points in the name of religion.

On the festival of Ram Navami, senior Congress leader and minister Kapil Sibal had a vermilion mark on his forehead. It was there when he addressed the media at 4 p.m. at the Congress headquarters in 24 Akbar Road, and it was still prominent when he was seen at a television studio at night.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan - all chose Ram Navami as the day to announced their alliance in Lucknow. Lalu Prasad in fact said in his speech that it was an auspicious occasion.

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Two warring candidates get together for green cause

It was a green victory of sorts when an environmentalist in Punjab managed to bring two political adversaries together - and all for the cause of fighting water pollution.

Call it another miraculous feat by Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal, who has earned international fame by cleaning up nearly 160 km of one of India’s most polluted streams, Kali Bein.

Seechewal was able to get Mohinder Singh Kaypee of the Congress and singer Hans Raj Hans of the Akali Dal - both aspirants for the Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat - on a common platform this week as he started a campaign to clean up more streams in Punjab.

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Singing and switching languages for husband’s sake

She is not a politician. Yet Uma Iyer’s campaign schedule is as busy as it gets. For, she is the wife of the Congress candidate from Idukki in Kerala and has been on a singing spree to canvass for him.

Her husband P.T. Thomas is a two-time legislator but lost the 2006 assembly polls. So this time, he is determined to win and is getting all the help he can from his wife.

“By now I have done 12 stage programmes for my husband and I travel ahead of him,” says Iyer. “When I finish singing a few songs, he arrives. I find it easy to communicate with our voters through this medium.”

The Idukki constituency borders Tamil Nadu and it has a large number of tea estates with Tamil speaking people.

“I make sure that when I reach areas where there is a concentration of Tamil speaking voters, I switch to Tamil songs,” added Uma.

-Indo-Asian News Service

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