Cabinet Minister and a battle hardened veteran of many a political battle, Harak Singh Rawat with his mercurial ways and swagger approach is a delight for journalists. The scribes know it perfectly well that the redoubtable Rawat with a little prodding could utter something which would grab immediate public attention.
However his recent interactions with media suggest that this leader has devised an ingenious ploy to parry off some irksome journalists who in their endeavour to prompt Harak, ask questions which put forth his image as party hopper. Nowadays, whenever the Minister gets a whiff of such tactics, pat comes the response, “You earlier were with… newspaper. Weren’t you? You have now shifted to another one, good.’’ Then, he buttresses it with his own example and says, “If you people can change the company you work for, why cannot I?’’ This counter offensive coupled with his trademark boisterous banter immediately makes the environment jovial which allows the veteran leader to pass through the barbs unscathed.
Baba at bay
Even as Yog Guru and business tycoon, Baba Ramdev has made a strong case for saints (particularly Hindu ones) to be considered for Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of country, another prominent Baba of Uttarakhand is said to be sulking at being left out for coveted Padma awards this year. This Rishikesh based Baba, a self confessed spiritual Guru and whose followers constitute a virtual who’s who of international and national celebrities was said to be eager to get his name included in the list of Padma awardees.
This Baba has made reverence for ‘Ma Ganga’ almost like his personal fiefdom and is seen giving lectures on virtues of ‘Ganga Jal’ while sipping a mineral water bottle. To puncture his self developed aura, the sceptics point out that his ashram situated on bank of Ganga pollutes the very river for which he claims to wage a war. The grapevine has it that impressed by his portfolio, the Uttarakhand Government had recommended his name for Padma award which was overlooked by the Centre.
It seems that the Uttarakhand Congress is yet to recover from the severe drubbing it received at the hustings during the Assembly elections held two years ago. The party, it appears, is living in a fool’s paradise hoping that the power would fall into its lap without doing anything substantial. The Congressmen, instead of attacking the ruling dispensation and doing justice to their role of opposition party, are intent on settling scores among themselves.
The stoic silence of the Congress leaders on the recent sting of brother and nephew of TSR defies any logic since everyone remembers the manner in which BJP reacted and made a big issue when sting of Harish Rawat was made public. Congress has also failed to take advantage of resentment of State Government employees who are on war path for their demands and anger of farmers. Similarly, the slothful Congress has also not responded to the plight of unemployed youth of the State.
One hopes that the ensuing parliamentary elections would infuse some life in the organisation of Congress which at present is moribund.
Friday, 01 February 2019 | Gajendra Singh Negi | Dehradun
Author: Gajendra Singh Negi
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