Trinamul Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee does not always necessarily carry the image of an angry woman, she has other shades to her personality too. During her recent three-day tour of Odisha, Ms Banerjee appeared quite peaceful even if she was persistently provoked by journalists to spit venom at her political opponents so that they would get some good stories. “There are 365 days to do politics. I have come to Odisha to offer my prayers to Lord Jagannath in Puri and meet Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, whose father loved me like his daughter,” she said, deflecting queries on the BJP’s current aggressive stand against the TMC. The CM, who is fondly called Didi, even flatly denied discussing any political issues with Mr Patnaik, although sources said both of them had hard talks on the presidential elections and formation of a federal front to check the saffron party.
A group of journalists who had trailed Didi all the way from West Bengal to Odisha with the hope that she would seal a deal with Mr Patnaik to take on the BJP that has been tormenting her as well as the BJD recently, were frustrated at not getting the firebrand's trademark lethal attack on the saffron brigade. “Did our Didi after landing in Odisha change like Emperor Ashoka, who had shunned violence and turned into a peace-loving king after winning the battle of Kalinga (Odisha)? No strong soundbites; nor any concrete inputs on her current and future political moves,” they were heard saying as they packed their bags for the return journey.
What’s in a name?
There is a wave of “patriotism” sweeping through Lucknow ever since Yogi Adityanath took over as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Road crossings and streets are quietly being renamed after national heroes and, for once, no one is complaining. Some of these crossings had weird names and no one knew how they came into being. The Husadiya crossing in Gomti Nagar is one such place that has now been renamed Shaheed Chandra Shekhar Azad Chowk while the Malik Timber crossing is now called Shaheed Bhagat Singh Crossing.
The street leading to the Vidhan Sabha has been renamed Raja Vijay Kumar Tripathi Marg after the scion of the Sisendi estate and a former MLA. Yogi Adityanath, interestingly, had renamed several localities in Gorakhpur to push forward his Hindu agenda. The famous Miyan Bazaar was renamed as Maya Bazaar while the Urdu Bazaar became Hindi Bazaar and Ali Nagar turned into Arya Nagar —all this without a murmur of protest. His followers are now waiting for districts like Aligarh and Farrukhabad to get new Hindu names....