When elections come, supporters and party workers are as important as voters. But in Madhya Pradesh, top leaders of the ruling Congress party are putting more faith in their sons than in other volunteers when it comes to election management. Former chief minister Digvijaya Singh (pictured) is contesting from Bhopal. The seat is a saffron citadel where the Bharatiya Janata Party has not lost since 1989. Singh’s son and cabinet minister of Madhya Pradesh, Jaivardhan Singh, is working hard to map booths and devise political strategy for his father. It is the same with Jyotiraditya Scindia. The party has put him in charge of western Uttar Pradesh and he has to occasionally visit the region. His son Mahanaryaman Scindia is active in the Guna-Shivpuri constituency with his mother, Priyadarshini Raje.
Since its beginning, Dravidian politics has been known for its atheistic views on policy and life. In tune with this legacy, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is seen as an atheist party and its former president, the late M. Karunanidhi, was known to be a staunch and vocal atheist. His son and the current DMK president M K Stalin is also not known as a believer and has made several remarks against the Brahmins and their customs from time to time. However, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections his wife, Durga Stalin, is busy visiting temples such as the Murugan temple in Palani and the Meenakshi temple in Madurai to seek the blessings of these deities for the political future of Stalin. She, however, is not the only family member of a Dravidian leader to be visiting temples this poll season. Also going to these places of worship are the respective spouses of Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam, who are both spiritual themselves. Meanwhile, Thirumavalavan, the president of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (Liberation Leopard Party) — who is often alleged by the right wing as somebody who opposes Hinduism — was seen visiting a Nataraja temple.
Those flocking to Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla ground to catch live action of the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches this season are left with a sour taste in the mouth, thanks to the administration’s new diktat of not allowing food at some of the spectator stands. Viewers can sip beverages, but not carry snacks to their seats. Reason? The ground staff wants to keep the sitting area, “which used to be tainted with leftovers and packets earlier”, clean. Until the last IPL season, food could be consumed while watching the match. Now one has to go to the counters, where they have to buy as well as polish off the food, losing a slice of the action during the home games of the Delhi Capitals. Many are ruefully chewing on the new arrangement but not before reminding that the Delhi & District Cricket Association, which is responsible for the stadium’s upkeep, has important infrastructural issues and even internal politics to resolve first.