Punjab parties make a 420 promise!
Live Punjab News Service
Chandigarh -- Punjab's ruling Congress and the opposition Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine are promising the electorate to provide wheat at Rs.4 per kg and pulses at Rs.20 per kg.
Chandigarh, Feb 2 (IANS) Punjab's ruling Congress and the opposition Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine are promising the electorate to provide wheat at Rs.4 per kg and pulses at Rs.20 per kg.
Given the spiralling prices of these essentials in recent months, the promised rates might fill many empty stomachs but are giving political indigestion to some others.
The 117 assembly seats in Punjab go to polls Feb 13 and both sides are trying their best to woo voters.
"This is nothing but a 420 promise (cheating) - Rs.4 for flour and Rs.20 for pulses. The leaders of both sides know that giving these rates would be quite difficult," said a Congress leader from Hoshiarpur.
Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) deals with cheating, and '420' is normally associated with wrongdoing.
Sukhbir flies high
Akali Dal president and former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's son Sukhbir Singh Badal is all over Punjab's political scene. The Carolina state university educated management graduate is hopping in his twin-engine chopper.
Clearly Sukhbir does not want to lose out on time by covering distances by road. Some credit for this chopper-hopper should go to Congress Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who is known for his liberal use of the state government chopper. The chief minister hardly did any road journeys in nearly five years in office. The only time he was seen on the road was recently when he undertook a roadshow to boost the prospects of his party in the assembly polls.
In Sukhbir's case, the chopper is coming in handy for campaigning, attracting crowds and even crisis management. When an Akali Dal worker was allegedly killed by Congress activists in Beas town near Amritsar, Sukhbir air-dashed to lead the Akali protest there and derive maximum political mileage from the incident.
After doing his bit in Beas, he was again in the skies to fulfil other political commitments. Many in Punjab say that while the high-flying chief minister has been 'grounded' by political realities, Sukhbir is really flying high these days.
Akali leader on two seats
Akali Dal leader and former Punjab finance minister Kanwaljit Singh is not only contesting from his Banur assembly seat, 25 km from Chandigarh, but also fighting a proxy election in the adjoining Kharar assembly seat - which shares its boundary with Chandigarh - for his son Jasjit Singh.
Having put his ad-man son - Jasjit is a US-qualified advertising professional who recently quit his job in Delhi to get full-time into politics - in the fray, Kanwaljit Singh wants his sibling to do well. So the Akali leader is not only busy campaigning for himself in his own Banur seat but can be seen canvassing for his son in Kharar as well.
Jasjit is pitted against Congress candidate and liquor distributor Balbir Singh Sidhu from Kharar. The allotment of the Congress ticket to Sidhu has upset other ticket seekers from the party who have openly declared their displeasure. If the dissidence continues, Jasjit will definitely have a head start in the hustings.