Wind, rain go away, come back after campaign day


New Delhi : An unexpected change in the weather in Jammu and Kashmir has spelt doom for political parties that suddenly find their campaign plans being blown away.

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Wind, storm and rain have forced leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress to shift their venues from open grounds to covered halls in Rajouri, Jammu and Billawar.

Congress leaders are particularly worried as they are preparing for a rally to be addressed by party general secretary Rahul Gandhi in Vijapur, a town 29 km southwest of Jammu, Wednesday.

They want to make a big splash with his campaign.

“But the sudden change in weather has caused us great anxiety,” admitted a senior leader. “We only hope that the weather is calm on Wednesday.”

Leaders of the two rival parties are looking heavenwards for some respite.


When ‘didi’ praised the Left Front!

It was a rare occasion when ‘didi’ saw something good in the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front in West Bengal.

“The Left Front ran the state more or less properly from 1977 till 1984 or 1987. Then the decline set in,” said Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee – popularly called didi – at a phone-in programme on a local news channel.

She usually leaves no occasion to pillory the CPI-M for every perceivable problem affecting West Bengal.

A CPI-M cadre was therefore prompt in pointing out that it had taken Banerjee 25 years in politics to realise the merits of the first 10 years of Left rule.

“May be, 25 years later, she will say Left Front rule was a blessing for Bengal!”


No supporting Gujarat riots, say Goa friends of BJP

They garner public opinion in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but when it comes to the Gujarat riots, these friends of the party have put their foot down.

The Goa Friends of BJP, a national initiative floated by youngsters, professionals, entrepreneurs and concerned citizens, has publicly said it is not comfortable with the Gujarat government’s role in the post Godhra riots of 2002.

At a symposium organised by it – where BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad had also been invited, its Goa convenor Suhana Nayak had his defence ready: “We are not a part of the BJP. We are only friends of the party, supporting it from the outside.”


Polls coming up, so power outage off

Elections have brought some breezy news for Kerala residents. The state electricity board Monday decided to suspend the daily schedule of half-an-hour of power outages till April 17.

The move came after the power board was besieged by politicians of all hues and also by the administration. The reason given was the smooth conduct of elections scheduled April 16.

Last year load shedding had started in June, but this time, it started rather early. At least the polls have reaped an unexpected dividend.