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After PM Modi, Pinarayi Vijayan has a new friend in Amit Shah. But Congress can’t take it

It is being said that because Vijayan is in trouble due to the gold smuggling case, he does not want to confront the BJP.

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The ‘top-notch’ bureaucrat who used to be Additional Chief Secretary (Home) in Uttar Pradesh could not get an extension. Instead, the state government ordered simultaneous transfer of the Additional Chief Secretaries and Principal Secretaries of 16 departments. Now, in another surprise move, a 1995 batch IAS officer has been appointed as the Principal Secretary of both Home and Information and Public Relations Department in order to ‘balance the bureaucracy’. The Additional Chief Secretaries and Principal Secretaries of the Departments under both UP Deputy Chief Ministers have also been changed. The decision to remove the ‘high-profile’ Additional Chief Secretary, who held the Information and Public Relations department, created a buzz similar to the time of his appointment that came two years ago. Now, it is being said that the state bureaucracy’s power balance has been well disturbed after the latest reshuffling.

Inflation and Haryana

The Congress party recently held a rally in Delhi raising the issue of inflation. Although workers from all over the country had turned up, Haryana had a larger presence among the audience. When Haryana Congress workers reached the rally – breaching the police barricades — the crowds were heard whispering if inflation was a Haryana-only problem. Responding to this, a leader said: ‘This crowd belongs to Hooda ji only. Those protesting against inflation are in a different corner.’ Get it?

The Hooda style of Ganpati diplomacy

Deepender Hooda attended Union Minister Piyush Goyal’s Ganpati Puja, which was also attended by the PM along with all top BJP and RSS leaders. Interestingly, Hooda’s father, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has also been actively supporting Congress rebels such as Anand Sharma and Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Faking it all—’ministers’ to ‘NSA’

Fake accounts created on Twitter in the name of big personalities emerge every now and then. People start following such accounts without verifying the details. Now, someone has created a Twitter account by putting a picture of the National Security Advisor. Turns out, the fake account had many followers, including BJP leaders, even former ministers. This ‘fake’ story does not end here— just as the account in the NSA’s name is fake, so are the accounts made in the name of the ‘ministers’ who follow it.

Bulldozer Baba of Northeast

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma has grabbed headlines recently. In Assam, madrassas are being demolished in a rampant manner. Earlier, Sarma had also ordered demolition of several encroachments in the state. He has now been called the ‘Bulldozer Baba of the Northeast,’ the moniker bestowed upon him by none other than the ‘national Bulldozer Baba’ i.e. Yogi Adityanath. The grapevine has it that Yogi addressed Sarma as ‘Bulldozer Baba’ in a phone conversation.

No tickets for those who ‘aspire’ for them

The assembly elections for Himachal and Gujarat are likely to be held in the next 90 days. But claimants for tickets from these states are nowhere to be seen at the BJP headquarters. This is because those seen pleading their case at the party headquarters will surely lose their chance, even if they were originally in the list. So, if any worker from these states is seen hanging out at the party headquarters, then it should be assumed that either he/she is staying away from electoral politics or he/she has been summoned for some other work.

Whispers in Kerala

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan enjoys good rapport with PM Narendra Modi. It is learnt that he keeps calling the PM regarding issues related to the state. Now, the Kerala CM has started focusing on strengthening his relationship with Amit Shah as well. Vijayan invited Shah as the chief guest at the Kerala Boat Race Festival on 4 September. Shah had also visited Kerala to attend the South Zonal Council meet. But the Congress’ reaction is quite negative. Now in gossip corridors, it is being said that because Vijayan is in great trouble due to the gold smuggling case, he does not want to confront the BJP. Unlike Bengal, BJP is a weak force in Kerala. The Congress-led alliance is sitting pretty as the main opposition in the state. And even for the BJP, Kerala is not top priority. In such a scenario, will the friendship between Kerala CM and Shah bloom?

The new look of the Bhaipo

TMC leader and MP Abhishek Banerjee, fondly referred as Bhaipo within the party circles, has a new look, thanks to his new set of glasses. One of Banerjee’s eyes was badly injured in an accident and the leader has been using contact lenses since then. Recently, he had his eyes examined in Dubai. And the doctors have advised him not to use the lenses, and instead opt for an operation.

Bharat Agrawal is Executive Director, Dainik Bhaskar Group, and a columnist.

By special arrangement with Dainik Bhaskar and translated by Ram Lal Khanna from the original in Hindi and edited by Anurag Chaubey.

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