Holi this year has left a bitter taste in the mouth of sweet sellers. With the election results coming exactly on the eve of Holi, almost all political parties have decided against sending out the customary boxes of gujiya to their leaders, party workers, bureaucrats and journalists. Since the parties were not sure of the results and the exit polls left them even more confused, they decided to play safe and cut out the Holi hampers.
A sweetshop owner, known for his proximity to political leaders and the huge profits that he makes in every festive season, admitted: “The elections came at the wrong time and took away the cheer from the Holi festival. Every leader was nervous and refused to place any orders. Our business has taken another hit after demonetisation.” A senior leader who has been sending out gift hampers on every festival explained, “I am not contesting the elections but I knew my party is losing. Had I sent out gujiyas, my colleagues would have said that I am celebrating their failure.” Holi, obviously, has lost some of its colour, irrespective of the winner or loser in the polls.
COOKING UP A KITCHEN STORY!
Kitchens can also cook up politics. It may sound weird but a tiny kitchen room of a poor tribal in a Chhattisgarh village has set off a political debate after it hosted Chief Minister Raman Singh recently. The “kitchen story”, as was being painted by Opposition Congress, unfolded when the CM “suddenly” landed in Kediama village in Garyabandh district on March 1 during his ongoing “Lok Suraj Abhiyan” or good governance campaign — an “annual sojourn” to rural Chhattisgarh undertaken to get feedback directly from people. Mr Singh while interacting with villagers asked if they have been provided with LPG gas cylinders and burner-stoves under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. Forty-five-year-old Nandini Vishwakarma, a poor tribal woman, drew the CM’s attention to a peculiar problem she was facing. “Neither me, nor my husband (a farm labourer) knows how to light the stove connected to the LPG cylinder,” she said.
Much to the surprise of the villagers, the CM promptly visited her kitchen and gave her a demo. Ms Vishwakarma then happily prepared black tea for him. “Wah!” the CM muttered after the very first sip in appreciation of the tea. Barely a couple of hours later, the photo of the CM giving the demo had gone viral in the social media. The Congress then described the whole episode as a “promotional campaign” for the BJP. “It was a well-drafted kitchen story played out to perfection,” the Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee spokesman remarked.The script should have ended with: “Wah Ujjawala!” he quipped....