His vitriol against the enemies across the border in movies such as Gadar: Ek Prem Katha and Border might have ensured box office success, but the Bharatiya Janata Party's Gurdaspur candidate Sunny Deol doesn't seem willing to display the same machismo in real life. The actor-turned-politician admitted at a campaign rally in Haryana that he doesn't know much about the Balakot air strikes or the state of India-Pakistan relations. Talking to journalists at a gathering on Tuesday, Deol refused to take a stand on these two issues in particular. “I am here to serve people, if I win then maybe I will have my opinion, not now,” said the 60-something candidate.
Former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan found himself facing the wrath of an agitated group of Congress workers on Tuesday. Chouhan had attacked Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath for "deceiving" farmers of the state. He had alleged that while Gandhi claimed that loans of farmers had been waived within two hours of the Congress forming a government in the state, in reality, Nath had sent messages to lakhs of farmers saying that the waiver couldn't be carried out since the Model Code of Conduct was in place. To clear the air, a Congress delegation, led by leader Suresh Pachouri and attended by a large group of party workers, reached Chouhan's residence carrying huge bundles of documents containing details of farmers whose loans had been waived off. They handed over a list containing the details of 21 lakh farmers who had benefitted under the loan waiver scheme. Pachouri's entourage left after dumping the bundles of documents at Chouhan's residence.
Mamata finds a gap
Observers have pointed out how the term "secularism" has been missing from the speeches of various Congress party leaders this election season. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has made no bones about her national ambitions, has obviously sensed an opportunity in that, if the number of times she has emphasised her party's "secular" credentials in her rallies is anything to go by. While speaking at a campaign meet in West Bengal's Bishnupur Lok Sabha constituency earlier this week, she made the point once again. The T, M, and C in her party's name stood for "temple, mosque and church", she said.