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From the India Gate: Spicy protest, 56 Vs 56, madam muted and more

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From the India Gate Asianet News Network Political Gossip Episode 44
First Published Oct 8, 2023, 12:06 PM IST

A new war has uncorked in Karnataka between Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his deputy D K Shivakumar. While the former is against new bars or liquor outlets, the latter has promised one bar in each village.

With this, a strange slogan has been echoing in Karnataka: "We want gutters". This 'demand' is to ridicule Shivakumar’s promise to open more bars. The message from people (read Sidda supporters) is that they want 'gutters to fall' after 'drinking from new bars'.

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You always find one or two political activists becoming the cynosure of cameramen at public protests. They come up with stunts that catch the attention of shutterbugs like this person who is known for grabbing the limelight.

From walking barefoot to bathing in dung or eating mud, he has always innovated 'creativity'. During the recent Cauvery bandh, he attempted another 'unique' protest strategy. He decided to chew spicy chillies to register his protest; jeering crowds encouraged him to eat more chillies.

But the afterburn was too hot for him to manage once he reached home. After trying out all known grandma medicines and domestic remedies, the 'protestor' had to be rushed to the hospital to douse the spicy fire burning inside his belly.

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56 vs 56

This is the new election slogan in Rajasthan. If one were to decipher this poll code, it would simply mean that the upcoming elections will be a direct fight between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the development initiatives of the Congress government.

To match with Modi’s 56-inch-chest thumping, the Congress government has created three more districts taking the total number of districts in Rajasthan to 56.

With this 56 vs 56 has become viral on social media. This move obviously underlines two points: (a) The Congress is still clueless on how to take on Modi as the BJP’s mascot and (b) the Gehlot government has little to showcase against the BJP but for such cosmetic bids.

Will the Congress be able to create history through such geographical gimmicks remains a moot point.

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Being ignored by your juniors is a clear indication of one’s irrelevance in a political party. For, they know which side of the bread is to be buttered. A veteran woman leader of the BJP is sadly realising this age-old reality. There was a time when tectonic changes happened in BJP politics in Rajasthan on her instructions.

But now, she is invited to big events only as a formality. And she is hardly given any importance at events. At a recent press conference, leaders on the dais saw her name flashing when one of the leader's phones rang.

Time was when the same leader would get up from the chair before answering the call acknowledging her importance in the state. But this time he plainly ignored and even turned the cell phone off when she repeatedly dialed. Many believe such behaviour is a harbinger of storms to lash the BJP in the coming elections.

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He is one of the few political leaders with impeccable credentials. But turf war in CPM saw G Sudhakaran being sidelined during the last assembly elections in spite of a good track record as PWD minister in the first Pinarayi government.

In an exclusive interview given to Asianet News, Sudhakaran openly said that it was the failure of CPM to nip the Karivannoor co-operative bank scam in the bud. His comments come at a time when the Enforcement Directorate is grilling senior CPM leaders in the scandal. A couple of leaders are already in the dock.

While the CPM has maintained that the ED probe is part of vendetta politics, Sudhakaran hinted that there is merit in the probe and ``ED can’t be stopped’’.

He also flayed senior leader Elamaram Kareem who reported to the party that Sudhakaran was inactive during the last assembly elections. CPM had denied him a ticket to contest in spite of driving the PWD department through the right lane during his tenure. How the party -- known to initiate tough disciplinary action against anyone going against the grain -- will react to his open statement will have to be watched.

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