Legend has it that a man prayed for money and then became rich by growing multiple plants from one — giving the plant its name. Not sure if that was the case here but officials in Odisha over the weekend unearthed property worth over Rs 1 crore in the possession of a gardener-cum-horticulture extension worker employed by the state government. On a tip-off officials raided the house of one Udhab Behera and that of his relatives in Mayurbhanj and Balasore district and found a neat stash. Besides the cash, Behera owned a three-storey house, 12 plots of land, a poultry farm, three two-wheelers, big-ticket deposits and investments in banks plus a huge amount of gold ornaments.
Phule going solo
Savitribai Phule, the Dalit leader of Bahraich district of Uttar Pradesh, who joined the Congress after leaving the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, has resigned from the grand old party. The Congress had given the ticket to Phule to contest from the Bahraich parliamentary constituency but she lost to the BJP nominee. Following her defeat, Phule was left in the political wilderness as the Congress became busy restructuring its state unit. After resigning from the Congress, a sulking Phule is gearing up to hold a convention in Lucknow next month when she is expected to announce her next move.
Election is tough competition, even if it is of local bodies. In Tamil Nadu, where panchayat elections are taking place in two phases — one was held on December 27 and the next is scheduled for December 30 — a candidate took the traditional way to win over people’s trust. During her door-to-door campaign, Padmavathi, a candidate in Mylambadi village, Erode district (where the election is to be held on December 30), handed over a betel leaf and nut to prospective voters, promising to fulfil every promise made in her manifesto. Touching the betel leaf and nut is a traditional way to guarantee something and gaining trust.