Mace for Ace
On 13 September, the day Narendra Modi was named the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, the party’s headquarters at 11, Ashoka Road, New Delhi, was the place to be. Some excited party workers even managed to enter the media room. Some of them had brought a mace — Bhim ka gada — to gift their hero. Even when all other workers were escorted out, the mace and its handlers stayed on and jumped on the stage when Modi arrived. But Modi wasn’t keen on them at the best moment of his career and waved them away saying, “Baad mein, baad mein (Later, later)”. It’s unclear if he took the mace with him.
Two days later, Narendra Modi disappointed some other folks: bread pakora and juice sellers at his rally at Rewari town in Haryana where over a quarter million had turned up to watch their favourite leader. Each vendor had invested Rs 3,000-4,000 in setting up stalls at the ex-defence personnels’ rally hoping to make a brisk sale. But by the end, they had recovered not even a third of their investment as the thirst and appetite of Modi’s followers had sated with his appearance.
Eat Your Words
Union Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor’s alleged remark that Swami Vivekananda was a meateater and social drinker has the BJP up in arms, which wants an unconditional apology. According to friends, a hurt Tharoor says he can’t understand why he lands in a controversy every time he opens his mouth. The BJP may exploit Tharoor’s comment at next year’s Lok Sabha poll. The party is likely to field veteran O Rajagopal against Tharoor from Thiruvananthapuram.
As the 2014 polls near, secularism has begun to trend. Lok Sabha MP Badruddin Ajmal, a Muslim hardliner and a protector of illegal migrants, is said to be considering Bengali Hindus as candidates from his party, the All India United Democratic Front, from Silchar, Dibrugarh and Nagaon of his native Assam. He has been furiously adding Hindus and tribals to his party to lure them away from the Congress and the BJP.
No Bulletproof Monk
The National Security Guards (NSG) detailed with Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde have a headache. After a lung surgery this year, the minster junked his bulletproof Ambassador car and chose to commute in a Honda Accord even as the NSG commandos in his entourage ride in bulletproof cars. Apparently, the old-fashioned car doesn’t provide enough comfort for the recuperating Shinde. The NSG wants him to go back using protection.