DELHI DIARY

Mystery KejriwalThe election season always throws up new characters and political formations and similar is the case with the current polls to five state assemblies to be followed next year by...

Mystery Kejriwal
The election season always throws up new characters and political formations and similar is the case with the current polls to five state assemblies to be followed next year by Lok Sabha elections. The focus in the assembly polls, apart from Narendra Modi, is more on the new formulation Aam Aadmi Party and its protagonist Mr Arvind Kejriwal.
Unlike his mentor Anna Hazare, the former Income Tax Commissioner has assumed a more enigmatic streak with his strange ways of self-projection. Donning the 'Anna cap', though with a different dimension, he has managed to capture the attention of the people with corruption being the central to his poll strategy.
There is total mystery about his clout and the source of funding and so is the case about his actual chances in Delhi Assembly elections. This is despite the fact that his colleague and psephologist himself Mr Yogendra Yadav had tried to give fillip to AAP campaign by series of surveys in self-praise which give the party top billing and Mr Kejriwal as the favourite of the people for Chief Minister's post.
On one still knows whether the AAP will harm Congress or the BJP or both. The grapevine has it that Mr Kejriwal is close to the NGO circuit of Delhi Chief Minister Mrs Sheila Dikshit's MP son Mr Sandeep Dikshit. While the BJP quarters describe him as the Congress mole, the Congressmen have over the months been finding it hard to counter the innovative campaign of Mr Kejriwal and spate of corruption allegations leveled by him against Mrs Dikshit and her government.
Mr Kejriwal's open challenge to Mrs Dikshit for a public debate is creating quite a buzz. Well the mystery about AAP is deepening by the day. It will be revealed only after the Electronic Voting Machines compute the votes polled. Will have to wait till December 8.
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BJP's Lotus
Strange are the ways of politicians and political parties and weird are some of the demands raised by them during election times to put the political rivals in place. The baffling demand by a Madhya Pradesh Congress leader to cover all lotus (BJP's symbol) ponds as it could influence the voters is nothing but bizarre.
As it is the BJP has already made the Election Commission agree for changes in its symbol Lotus to make it look more prominent and eye catching on the EVMs while voters go to press the button. It has led to a gossip in Delhi's political circles that this move by the BJP's poll managers has lot to do with the larger than life image which the party's Prime Ministerial candidate Mr Narendra Modi has created for himself. The voters might get confused when it comes to pressing the button on EVMs as the present formation of the lotus symbol is lighter and made further lighter by Mr Modi's towering presence, is the argument forwarded, though in lighter vein, by the political observers.
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Tiwari's Initiative
Information and Broadcasting Minister Mr Manish Tiwari is pulling all stops to ensure that his ministry officials are in proper gear to highlight the achievements of the UPA Government ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. As a move in this direction, it has been decided to despatch the Indian Information Service officers to Austrialia for training on the use of modern technology with a particular focus on social media. This is one of the key area figuring in an international cooperation agreement between the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and Queensland University of Technology. This is the first such agreement signed by the IIMC for international collaboration and partnership with a foreign university. Training the information service officials in new media is said to be a project dear to Mr Tiwari.
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Opinion Polls
The All India Congress Committee is on war-path so far as the issue of opinion polls is concerned. It has directed all its spokespersons not to take part in any debate based on opinion polls on TV channels. The logic behind this move is that the party cannot participate in these debates following its considered view that the opinion poll surveys lack credibility and could be manipulated.
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