Language no bar
With a penchant for rubbing just about everyone the wrong way, E V K S Elangovan, the Tamil Nadu PCC chief, can never be too far from controversy. Asked if there was a thin chance of G K Vasan returning to the Congress fold, the TNPCC chief declared: “Vasan is dead.” What he may have meant was Vasan no longer exists for the Congress in Tamil Nadu, particularly when he’s at the helm. Vasan, in return, is said to have advised his trusted lieutenant not to react to such intemperate utterances. Adding, tongue-in-cheek, when “Congress is dead in Tamil Nadu” it’s he who will get the sympathy.
Tamil Nadu, meanwhile, is seeing some political realignment. MDMK spitfire Vaiko has cosied up with the Left, CPI in particular, and holding joint political programmes with it throughout the state. And the BJP is continuing to cultivate former cinestar Vijayakanth alias Captain’s DMDK in a big way.
Energetic bureaucrats, activist bureaucrats, writer bureaucrats and the law-enforcing bureaucrats—the country has seen them all. Now in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, a singing bureaucrat has emerged who is using his music to make a difference. A Divisional Commissioner, Vijaykumar Phad, has been going around with a veena on his shoulders singing bhajans and kirtans for distressed farmers to dissuade them from the path of suicide.
A recent IB report may have hinted at a hung house in Assam, but that’s not stopping the ‘kaun-banega-CM’ games in the biggest state in the Northeast. In the Congress, which is fighting 15 years of anti-incumbency, Paban Singh Ghatowar is being seen as Tarun Gogoi’s successor. This was after Ghatowar was made the state party’s campaign committee chief.
Within the BJP, there’s a problem of plenty. So much so that Sarbananda Sonowal, who till now was seen as the man who turned around the saffron party’s fortune in the state, is hardly in the reckoning. Now, Himanta Biswa Sarma is seen to be a stronger contender, despite his Congress baggage and the taint of alleged corruption. He’s crucial for the BJP in terms of putting together a winning combination, even roping in insurgent groups in an initiative towards peace politics. The current BJP state chief, the rather articulate lawyer Siddhartha Bhattacharya, is also in the race. To his advantage, Bhattacharya is the uncle of an English TV news-channel head with proximity to top BJP leadership in Delhi.