As if all the problems of Bengal weren’t enough to keep Mamata Banerjee busy, she has now opened a Trinamool Congress office in Rajasthan. A puja was performed and the office inaugurated, marking the Trinamool’s formal entry into the western state from where many of Bengal’s Marwari business families originate. However, the news hasn’t had the kind of impact she probably expected. Sniggering Bengalis can’t help wondering aloud what Didi, who’s been a cipher vis-a-vis delivering on promises in her own state, is hoping to do in the desert state on the other side of India. Does she even understand what the challenges are there?
Between Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav, has Uttar Pradesh gone all mature? The BSP government had prohibited the staging of controversial feminist play The Vagina Monologues—one that has different female characters narrating their sexual experiences—but her successor now wants to welcome it. After theatre artiste Dolly Thakore, who was part of the play’s production team, lamented the BSP’s decision at a recent public function in Lucknow, Akhilesh took to the stage to make it clear that she was welcome to stage the play anywhere in UP. “You are welcome now. The one who had banned it has gone away after installing her statues,” he said. Guess there’s been a regime change after all.
So sparse are Rahul Gandhi’s interactions with the media that the mere mention of a possible event sends the media into a tizzy. Last week, it was no different with many senior reporters rushing to the party office in Delhi to catch a soundbite from him. Rumours about a ‘personal briefing’ spread right after a meeting he had with representative heads from 51 districts, where the cash transfer scheme is going to be implemented in its first phase. It was followed by an SMS from the party’s media department announcing a press conference, mysteriously though without stating who would be doing the briefing. At the end of it all, all the rush turned out to be a waste when Jairam Ramesh and Janardhan Dwivedi were pushed forth to speak up for Rahul’s meeting.
Attacked for being a ‘paid’ Congress brand ambassador, Gujarati TV actress Tulika has fought back valiantly, saying she actually believes in the party’s ideology. And then added for good measure, “Narendra Modi is like my grandfather and I expect the same respect towards women and my generation from him.” Here’s one vote for the hand.
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