Punjab poll diary: Halke da maan, Pargat kaptaan

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Have you seen the longest inauguration ribbon ever? Well, you should have been at the inauguration of education minister Pargat Singh’s poll office in Jalandhar on Tuesday. A dozen people stood cheek by jowl, most without a mask, to hold the red ribbon in place as Pargat and his unsmiling better-half posed for a picture on a cold wintry day. And then there was some chanting, Halke da maan, saada Pargat kaptaan.

Charanjit, not Ailanjeet

There is something about poll campaigns, they lead to lots of name calling. Opposition parties, specially the Akalis, don’t call CM Charanjit Singh Channi by his name, they refer to him as Ailanjeet Singh instead. It seems the CM has taken it to his heart, for the latest campaign on his wall and that of the party has this one line “Sirf ailaan ni karda, jo keha ussi vele laagoo ho jaanda (I don’t make announcements alone, whatever is said is implemented the very same moment). But the CM needn’t despair. In these polls, Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal has become Sukha. Long ago, when Capt Amarinder had a running war of words with the Badals, he used to call him baloongra (kitten). Cat lovers, no offence.

Cong and its many, many voices

What is with the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. After being somnolent for months—chief Navjot Singh Sidhu never really honoured the promise of sleeping at the Punjab Bhawan—it’s suddenly woken up to make a host of appointments. They appointed Avtar Henry as PPCC vice-president on Tuesday. The other day they released a list of not one, not two, but 39 spokespersons, making many wonder whether Congress, which is already speaking in many voices, needs any more. May be, it’s a canny way of tackling the profusion of media. If only they had also released the phone numbers of each one of them — many are contesting as well — it would have become a whole lot easier for the press corps.

Coughing Kejriwal

There is something about the cough of AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal. It comes and goes in waves, specially near important elections, Remember the muffler man memes when he coughed his way to his first thumping win in Delhi. Well, these days, he is often found coughing at pressers in Chandigarh. Be it the announcement of the hotline for choosing the CM face or the announcement of the CM face, the Delhi CM was often heard coughing discreetly. Ginger-honey decoction, anyone?

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