Chandigarh confidential

Jakhar's barbs

Leader of Opposition Sunil Jakhar seemed to be at his humorous best as he took on the Badals at the Moga rally. Accusing Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal of being intolerant to criticism, the Congress leader picked an analogy that the crowd would best understand. " Sukhbir wants the Opposition to behave like cheerleaders in a cricket ground. He wants the Opposition to clap and dance at his every word, just as spectators would when a batsman hits a six," Jakhar said. At another instant, he referred to incidents in the state Assembly, particularly Cabinet Minister Bikram Singh Majithia's abusive language. "Rana saab, bade armaan they dil ke jo adhoorey reh gaye...bahut hisaab lene they abhi inn logon se," he said. Rana, who had evidently prompted the expletive from Majithia, too kept smiling on stage.

Common denominator

What's common to Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief and former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala? During all their terms at the helm of the state, they have witnessed disqualification petitions against MLAs. It first happened under Chautala in 1991 and then in 2004 while Hooda has faced the problem during his previous tenure in 2008 and now in 2012. The only time that the defectors have had an effect, however, was in 1991 when the then Chautala government fell. In 2004, the INLD chief had full majority so the flight of Independents and two others to the Congress had no bearing on his government. Hooda, however, has had it better as defectors have not harmed his tenures at all.

Media power

"Mian biwi razi to kya karega kazi," quipped External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on the demand for a liberalised visa regime for SAARC journalists, during a South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA). Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who also attended the function, responded in his characteristic style. "You may call us mian or biwi, but the reality is that things are in your hands ensure liberalised regimes," he told Khurshid. The chief minister also did not shy away from taking a dig at the media. Stating that the media was powerful enough to turn a man into a woman and vice versa, Badal took took the opportunity to assert that under the present circumstances, the major poll expense was on the media.

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