Austerity in reverse gear

The Toyota Prado, which was removed from the Chief Minister's cavalcade by Akhilesh Yadav soon after he assumed office, has made a comeback. At that time, it was projected as an austerity measure by the new chief minister. The Samajwadi Party had claimed that, unlike his predecessor Mayawati, their leader was concerned about wastage of public money and had, therefore, replaced the Prado with a simple Ambassador car. Last Saturday, when Akhilesh alighted from the Prado at the party office, a party leader explained: after all, the Prado was bought by Mulayam Singh Yadav when he was chief minister in 2006, and not by Mayawati.

Wrong place, wrong time?

State BJP president Laxmikant Bajpai has bowed to party workers who opposed his plan of announcing the office-bearers of regional committees in January first week. They argued that the timing was wrong as it fell in the inauspicious month of kharmas which lasts until January 14. If Bajpai ensured that his own election as party president was held on December 2, which was auspicious, why couldn't the announcement of regional committees be delayed until suitable time? No doubt, it would not make much difference. Also, the party has always made important announcements on auspicious occasions. It is another matter that the number of its seats in the Assembly and the Lok Sabha has been going down.

Media makeover

Mayawati giving interviews to the media after five long years is now an old story. More changes were in evidence at a press conference in Lucknow last week, which she held to share her opinion of the performance of the UPA government at the Centre and the Samajwadi Party government in UP in 2012. Unlike the past, Mayawati did not leave after reading her prepared statement. Instead, she freely answered questions, which she never did in the past. Also, she readily accepted party general secretary S C Mishra's suggestion to stay back and meet the reporters. And she made it a point to meet each reporter individually. Some of them used the rare opportunity to get themselves photographed with Behenji.

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