Red rose songs, red-faced CM

The compere at the launch of Women Power Line —- the helpline meant for women getting indecent phone calls, SMSes and MMSes —- went overboard praising Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. He likened the Chief Minister to a rose which had spread the fragrance of hope in the state. He also recited a short poem, praising Akhilesh's "attractive smile'', whose charm had captivated everyone from "Ghazipur to Ghaziabad". At first, Akhilesh looked embarrassed and went red in the face. After a while, however, he burst out laughing at the compere's silly sycophancy, and everyone joined in.

Observers' labour lost

After the Samjawadi Party announced its first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, Akhilesh Yadav faced a query from a party leader who had served as observer for a constituency. How come the party had selected somebody who did not figure at all in the panel he had recommended? We do not know what Akhilesh told him, but there are several other candidates who were picked, ignoring the observers' reports. They include Seema Mishra, daughter of Gyanpur MLA Vijay Mishra, for Bhadohi and Arun Kumar Shukla alias Anna for Unnao. While Shukla is a criminal history-sheeter, Seema was last in the news when cameras caught her giving away currency notes to prison guards when father was freed from jail in August.

Keen for Kin rival

The Raj Babbar camp in Congress is happy with the Samajwadi Party's decision to field Ram Gopal Yadav's son Akshay Yadav from Firozabad. Last time, the candidature of Dimple Yadav had backfired for the Samajwadi Party, helping Babbar win the by-election in 2009. The Congress may be under attack on the issue of corruption, but partymen believe history will repeat itself and Akshay Yadav's candidature will help Babbar this time.

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