A sweet, warm campaign
As the Delhi elections approach, ticket aspirants have started making their bid to woo voters with some unusual gifts. One such leader, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) Azad Singh, has jaggery and calendars — what one would argue are perfect baits, given that the New Year has just kicked in and the weather has been at its coldest in the past fortnight — as gift ideas. These articles are packed in a cloth bag (the material is important because “say no to plastic” is embossed on it) that has a phone number printed on it. Last week, they were being distributed in Vasant Kunj, with his supporters being extra persuasive with those unwilling to accept them. Even those not at home found these bags hanging from their doorknobs.
Fourth time lucky
While states such as West Bengal are fuming about their not being allowed to participate in the Republic Day Parade 2020, the National Disaster Response Force, or NDRF — a specialised force under the Ministry of Home Affairs — found its name on the shortlist for the first time in its history of nearly 15 years. A senior officer said this was the fourth time that the force had submitted its tableau. After having failed to make the cut owing to technical or other reasons earlier, the team preparing the tableau was curious to know its fate this time. And as the list of 22 participants was announced last Friday, it had a reason to feel happy. The tableau, as one would guess from the name of the force, will display its “alertness and prompt responses” during rescue jobs.
Day of answers
The three-day-long Budget session of the newly constituted Jharkhand Assembly commences on Monday and many questions are likely to be answered. For example, how will the state get the funds to deliver on the lofty, populist promises the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) made in the campaign? Then there is the question about allotting portfolios and inducting ministers. If sources are to be believed, the Congress, which already has one minister sworn in, might get two more berths but there is no consensus on who will make the cut. One prominent “frontrunner” is said to be facing stiff opposition due to his son’s reputation. Similarly, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which lost the election, may take a call on whether C P Singh or Nilkanth Singh Munda would become leader of the Opposition.