The Congress party in Kerala has a new slogan: “thinking out of the box”. The bug apparently bit after Shashi Tharoor was seen instructing school students (future electorate) on how to do the same. A little after, the Thiruvananthapuram MP was seen watching a cricket match with the cattle-class in Kochi, which naturally drew much media attention—of the oh-my-how-aam-aadmi variety. Not to be outdone, Kerala CM Oommen Chandy, arriving from Delhi, hired a taxi from the Thiruvananthapuram airport. Did it get him in the news? You bet it did! Sources say now our netas are getting their khadi shirts in a twist trying to think up ‘out of the box’ publicity exercises!
Jyotirmoy Nandi, a local pest controller, is in big trouble with the West Bengal police. The 47-year-old, who for the past decade has been hired on and off by various government departments, suddenly finds himself accused of “serious crimes”, including conspiracy to set ablaze the under-renovation Writers’ Buildings. How so? Well, apparently Nandi always uses a little kerosene in the poison to make it more effective. So far, the concoction has never raised eyebrows. But suddenly last week, guards at the secretariat got a strong whiff, and not wanting to take chances, alerted the cops. Investigations were still on when the home secretary jumped the gun and told the media that a conspiracy was on to set Writers’ ablaze. Put in a spot, the cops had to justify their top boss’s words and “make some arrests”. Looks like Nandi’s pest control days are over.
Of late, Uttar Pradesh’s youngest CM Akhilesh Yadav seems happier spending time “out in the field” than in office. Just last week, after his chopper landed in a playground—right in the middle of a football game in progress—he was heard urging the schoolchildren to shift the final to a date that would suit him. Sure enough, the star-struck organisers were more than willing to do so. Another day, invited to inaugurate a police athletics meet (normally a 10-minute event), Akhilesh spent a good two-and-a-half hours cheering the toiling cops. Indeed, sources say nowadays the CM is game to attend any social event, especially those organised by a local chain of schools. Now all this would be fine but the same CM couldn’t find time for an IT conclave his core team had organised in Lucknow last week. And then he says his “dream project” is turning the state capital into an IT city.
What was that about the “powerless” inheriting the earth? In New Delhi, when sisters-in-law Sonia G and Maneka G showed up to cast their votes, the SPG chaperoned the former right up to the venue and voila, she came out with a beaming smile, CM Sheila Dikshit in tow. The other Mrs Gandhi waited patiently for her turn in the queue.
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