Regional Buzz: From Badal bonding with old friends to silencing Sidhu

सोमवार, 24 एप्रिल 2017

Keeping tabs on power politics in Punajb, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

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<p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; color: rgb(33, 33, 33); text-transform: none; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: &quot;PT Serif&quot;, serif; font-size: 20px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Keeping tabs on power politics in Punajb, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; color: rgb(33, 33, 33); text-transform: none; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: &quot;PT Serif&quot;, serif; font-size: 20px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><b style="font-weight: 700; box-sizing: border-box;">Badal bonds with old friends</b></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; color: rgb(33, 33, 33); text-transform: none; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: &quot;PT Serif&quot;, serif; font-size: 20px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Their family bond is famous. Former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, his son Sukhbir Singh Badal and daughter-in-law Union minister Harsimrat Badal, attended the lavish wedding reception of Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala last week. Badals spent about two hours at the reception in New Delhi’s Ashoka hotel. As per eyewitnesses, senior Badal, who, in his own words, has a “relationship of the heart” with the family of Devi Lal, was very happy to be part of the event. Akali MPs Prem Singh Chandumajra, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Balwinder Singh Bhunder also attended the function.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; color: rgb(33, 33, 33); text-transform: none; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: &quot;PT Serif&quot;, serif; font-size: 20px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><b style="font-weight: 700; box-sizing: border-box;">Silencing Sidhu, for a while</b></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; color: rgb(33, 33, 33); text-transform: none; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: &quot;PT Serif&quot;, serif; font-size: 20px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Punjab local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu is famous for his repartee, but that’s not enough on a comedy show on a private television channel that he features in every week. The guests, who appear on the show, take digs at him sometimes. When Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans starred in the latest episode aired on Saturday, the show host asked him how it feels to be with a minister in the Congress government, a party that he had joined, left and then rejoined. “Sidhu once told me ‘<i style="box-sizing: border-box;">main taan koi na koi jugaad karr hee launga, mainu tera fikkar hai</i>’ (I will make some arrangement for myself, but I am worried about you),” pat came the reply. Next was the turn of female artist Upasana Singh who was questioned on self-promotion. “Here (on this show) cricketers and ministers get promoted,” she said to guffaws from the audience. Sidhu, the target of these wisecracks, was speechless.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; color: rgb(33, 33, 33); text-transform: none; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: &quot;PT Serif&quot;, serif; font-size: 20px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><b style="font-weight: 700; box-sizing: border-box;">More loyal than the ‘king’</b></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 20px; color: rgb(33, 33, 33); text-transform: none; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: &quot;PT Serif&quot;, serif; font-size: 20px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Neutrality was never the hallmark of bureaucracy but in Punjab loyalty is all that counts. All the officers in key positions in chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh government are his or his chief principal secretary Suresh Kumar’s loyalists. But some babus know how to make a winning switch. They enjoyed “plum” postings in previous government and are again ruling the roost such as finance secretary Anirudh Tewari, power secretary A Venuprasad and excise and taxation commissioner VP Singh. Only those “too close for comfort” to former CM Parkash Singh Badal such as KJS Cheema, whose file for repatriation to West Bengal has been moved again, are facing the heat. For others, the CM’s office is letting one babu to fix another, like in the home department where information is being leaked to the press against a top cop. Call it ‘Games of Thrones’ among Punjab babus!</p>