Before he had a chance to smell sweet success, Nawal Joshi, the daring owner of Gangaur who has decided to take Ajit Panja head on in ward 63 of central Calcutta, had to take in the stink of Trinamool politics. Apart from the usual verbal fire spewed at the innumerable street corner meetings, Joshi found another weapon being directed at him ' rumours. There were frequent news of his mulling over a withdrawal from the fray or his decision to join the Trinamool. No matter how difficult Joshi found the job of scotching these rumours, nothing could have prepared him for what still awaited him in the last lap of electioneering. One fine day, he was confronted with the news of a sudden assembly in front of Gangaur. Each of these visitors seemingly brandished a coupon which claimed, 'Nawal Joshi ko vote do, mufat me ek kilo laddoo lo'. At his wits' end, Joshi is supposed to have told his visitors that they could take the laddoos even without the votes. Not a very good bargain, but Joshi then could have only hoped for the taste to linger till Sunday.
Parts of Salt Lake are all red now, and not only because of the Krishnachuras. It is because of the combined efforts of Jyoti Basu, Anil Biswas and industrialist Kamal Gandhi. Thanks to them, the Marwari womenfolk in the area have reportedly pledged to vote and work for the party. Their decision follows that of their community, supposedly taken some days back. The revolution in their mindset, as is now well-known, followed the Roma Jhawar episode during which the red brigade showed as much concern as the parents. A masterstroke, should we say'
Go by the rules
Among the many complaints the state election commission has received this municipal poll time is one about CPI(M) hoardings not having the requisite printline. There has been another, against a flamboyant Forward Bloc candidate, who was seen distributing his visiting cards to impress voters. Apart from his USP as a former judge, the card also displayed the Asoka chakra. The election commission, which has no say on his Ray-Ban glasses and expensive watches on display, has not held back its last word on the display of the emblem though. Small mercies!
Children of a greater god
Hats off to the dogged efforts of the Congresswallahs to have the babas with them. The Mahila Congress has finally hit upon one cause they think Priyanka Gandhi cannot refuse to espouse ' the movement against female foeticide. The female brigade proposes to have a seminar on this social evil in which 2,500 women delegates will participate from Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, UP and Bihar. While the women wait for Priyanka's answer to be the star of their show, we can turn our attention to baba Rahul Gandhi, who seems all set to start his tour of the country from Amethi come July. But it isn't the party alone which wants him. There is also a tractor company which found it convenient to use Rahul Gandhi to sell itself. And it wasn't entirely on the wrong. While campaigning on the sugarcane issue, Rahul had boarded a tractor which happened to be one made by it. The party however is not listening and has forced the company to withdraw its advertisements. Talk about appropriation.
News travels fast
The Indian commission in Istanbul is alive and efficient. We have reports from a team of Indian scribes who had gone visiting the country to attend an international meet hosted by an insurance giant. While wandering around the great bazaars, a lady in the team found that some thug had nicked her purse which contained all her travel documents. She lodged a complaint, but the body language of the Turkish police told her that she should forget her purse. Her friends called up the Indian commission. The young officer in charge, Nikhil Sharma, lost no time. Within hours, the purse was found.
While talking about holidaying last time, we forgot the Karats. They are in Kasauli. Prakash, it is alleged, can no longer stand the heat and the pressure.
In times of war, nothing cements a relationship more than a marriage. This cardinal principle has always served politics well, which is why Ram Vilas Paswan is wasting no time. His daughter, Nisha, is apparently getting married to the son of a notable Congress leader. On June 23, all roads in the capital will lead to 12 Janpath, Paswan's Delhi home which shares its boundary with the legendary 10 Janpath. Paswan is confident that his neighbour will also be there to bless the couple, apart from the Union railways minister himself.
If Bihar gains from marriages, Madhya Pradesh can't be too far away from imbibing this truth. In Chhindwara, we thus have Kamal Nath playing the matchmaker. Faced with the rise of the Gondwana Ganatantra Party, a veritable tribal force, he recently organized a mass marriage programme in tribal heartland where 65 couples tied the knot, some of whom had been living together for years. Playing god again'