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Odisha Whispers

Text greetings

This New Year, many people received unexpected greetings from top politicians and, that too, in style. BJD MP Jay Panda’s wishes for a happy and successful 2012 reached many in the form of text messages.

Since most of the people the MP wished neither had a political background nor belonged to his friend circle, they were surprised by the messages.

Many wondered why Panda took to greeting people in this campaign style popularised by former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee who used to send voters automated phone calls and messages.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik, too, used this strategy in the last elections.

Opera tips

The presence of state Congress president Niranjan Patnaik at Eastern Opera’s play Chata Chinhare Vote Dia (vote for the umbrella symbol) last week raised many eyebrows. Though not much of a theatre buff, the Congress chief sat there flanked by family members, including his younger brother who owns the theatre group. What appeared to hold Patnaik’s attention was the theme of the play which was based on panchayat politics.

With Congress gearing up for the upcoming panchayat polls, he was perhaps trying to pick up some useful tips which could help his party.

The stakes, in any case, are high for the Congress in the rural polls where Patnaik’s leadership skills will be on test.


Wall and wedding

Being on the Facebook is like making a fashion statement. Ditto for Orkut. As social networking sites mushroom, their votaries swear by their utility. Quite a few bureaucrats and police officers, though not willing to be named, confess that they have made pretty useful contacts by joining these sites. They find nothing wrong with people uploading their profiles on the web as long as they take care to ensure that the information is not being misused. Former chief secretary and state election commissioner Ajit Kumar Tripathy, however, seems to be an exception. He has not uploaded his personal information on the web as he does not find it necessary. “I am not in search of a bride! Even my sons are married and settled. So why should I ?” chortled Tripathy.

New energy

Former minister Ranendra Pratap Swain's New Year card appeared to reflect his mood in the wake of his victory in the Supreme Court which set aside the election in the Athgarh Assembly constituency acknowledging that he was unjustly deprived of the opportunity to contest. “Let us learn to live without regrets and embrace this New Year with renewed energy,” read the message in the card which had the words Satya Ra Sada Jaya (truth always triumphs) inscribed at the bottom. Having secured a legal victory which seems to have vindicated him, the former minister, better known to friends and foes as Raja, is keeping the powder dry for the bypoll battle in Athgarh.


Poetic skills

Young Nayagarh MLA and BJD deputy chief whip Arun Sahu dabbles in poetry.

Those unaware of his poetic skills got to know about it from his New Year card which had one of his poems in it. Sahu reflected on the futility of celebrating the New Year which meant nothing for the common man struggling to make ends meet. “The celebrations on the television, in the hotels and the exchange of text messages heralding the New Year mean nothing to him. For, he is engaged in an eternal fight for survival,” mused the aspiring poet. Congratulations Arun, keep it up!


Only one

Finance minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadei is not one to be carried away by praise.
So when a TV show host recently sought to bait him with a politically loaded question which appeared to be a compliment, the seasoned politician was immediately on his guard. “You are said to be the number two minister in the cabinet?” asked the anchor expecting Ghadei to nod his head in agreement with a broad grin on his face. But, aware of the past controversies over the No. 2 position, the minister refused to oblige his interlocutor.

“Chief minister Naveen Patnaik is the only leader. There is no number two,” said he. The reply must have pleased Naveen and that is what matters the most for Ghadei.



Screen rivals

The on-screen and off-screen chemistry of Odia film industry’s top pair of yesteryears Prashant Nanda and Mahasweta Ray was a talked about subject in their times.

But today, the gossip of their rivalry seems to be more interesting than anything related
to present day film personalities.

In fact, recently when Nanda appeared as a special guest on a television reality show for upcoming actors, Mahasweta, who is a regular judge on the show, was absent.

The host of the show said that she was busy and not feeling well for which she had to miss the show.

We are sure that was not the only reason she refrained from that day’s show!

Ashutosh Mishra