Bollywood at the polls: Gupshup from the Dilli Durbar
Faded Bollywood actresses try to dazzle the UP campaign...
The googly that bowled out Rahul...
Why Gadkariji is pleased as punch, Sushmaji, please note...
'Maulana' Mulayam to the fore again...
Gupshup from the Dilli Durbar...
How can Bollywood be missing from the poll fever in Uttar Pradesh?
While both the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have taken a conscious decision to stay away from stars from another sky, but nothing is stopping the Congress and its allies from going the whole hog.
The Congress has brought actresses Amisha Patel, Nagma, Celina Jaitly and Mahima Chaudhry to dazzle the campaign. Its ally, the Rashtriya Lok Dal, has in its filmi arsenal, Vivek Oberoi.
Oberoi made more news for his tiff with local journalists while traveling with Union minister Ajit Singh's son RLD MP Jayant Chaudhary in Mathura than for his crowd pulling abilities.
The BJP is relying on the in-house talent of Hema Malini, Shatrughan Sinha and Smriti Irani. What Box Office results these stars will pull out in UP, no prizes for guessing this one!
Please click Next to read about the googly that bowled out Rahul...
Image: Actress Amisha Patel, above, along with Nagma, Celina Jaitly, Mahim Chaudhry are campaigning in the UP polls
Photographs: Amit Dave/ Rueters
The googly that bowled out Rahul
Though the verdict in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls will be out on March 6, all is not well with the Congress.
A premier agency entrusted with weekly surveys by the All India Congress Committee has presented a gloomy picture. It has placed the Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party at number one, with Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party getting three per cent less than her archrival.
What has upset and shocked Rahul Gandhi is that the survey shows the BJP having an edge over the Congress for the third spot!
Rahul and the Congress are not buying the survey's findings, but at the same time, the young Gandhi has decided to come clean ahead of March 6.
His camp is busy circulating the story that Rahul wanted to be projected as the party's chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh, but his party vetoed it.
This 'news' sounds as incredible. Can you imagine the Congress' prime ministerial hope living in Lucknow for the next five years and competing with the likes of Nitish Kumar, Jayalalithaa, Mamata Banerjee and Narendra Modi for the best chief minister prize!
Let's get real folks! Who wants to become mukhya mantri when the pradhan mantri's post lies in wait!
Please click Next to read why there's no room for Hindi journos at Rahul's table.
Image: Rahul Gandhi at an election rally
No room for Hindi journos at Rahul's table?
At his Tuqhlaq Lane home in New Delhi, Rahul Gandhi recently had an engaging interaction with select scribes when the Congress general secretary shared his vision and thoughts.
While the idea of opening up -- even if it was off the record -- was good, the exercise lacked strategy. Virtually nobody from the Hindi television channels or newspapers was invited to the encounter with Rahul.
The omission was baffling as a large part of his interaction revolved around Uttar Pradesh, with its thriving Hindi media network. While Team Rahul says there will be a second round when Hindi notables will be invited, some self-respecting media souls are hurt by the snub.
The next time round, the Hindi-bhasha scribes can be assured of front row seats. Rahulji, is baar mat bhuliyega Hindi patrakaron ko.
Please click Next to read why Gadkariji is so gleeful.
Image: Distributors sort through newspapers before selling them in Noida, UP
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters
Why Gadkariji is pleased as punch
The municipal polls in Maharashtra generated great interest among top BJP leaders. Senior leaders, while crisscrossing Uttar Pradesh, remained glued to their mobile phones for updates.
BJP President Nitin Gadkari was gloating for obvious reasons. Some of his rivals drew solace from the fact that Gadkari's opponent in Maharashtra, Gopinath Munde too did not perform badly in his home turf of Parli in Beed district and succeeded in ensuring the defeat of elder brother Panditanna Munde, who had switched to the Nationalist Congress Party.
Gadkari is hoping for a second term as BJP president while seniors like Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Anant Kumar, M Venkaiah Naidu and others are looking for a new nominee.
This round has been won by Gadkariji, who by the way, went to cast his vote for the municipal polls in Nagpur on his scooter without a helmet. Set a good road safety example, Gadkariji!
Please click Next to read about the return of 'Maulana' Mulayam.
Image: Nitin Gadkari, president of the Bharatiya Janata Party
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
'Maulana Mulayam' to the fore again
Though most pollsters and surveys have shown the Samajwadi Party in the number one slot in the ongoing Uttar Pradesh election, party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav is not convinced about a decisive victory.
A day before polling for the fourth phase of polling in the state, Mulayam called on Maulana Rabey Nadvi, chairman of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, AIMPLB.
Though AIMPLB insists it is apolitical, the representative body of various Muslim sects in the country, has a deep interest in political affairs.
Mulayam is reportedly unsure of Muslim support to the Samajwadi Party, particularly in the fifth, sixth and seventh phases of polling. About 60 assembly seats will go to the polls in these phases which have over 30 per cent of Muslim voters.
Mulayam has reportedly offered to back the AIMPLB's demands to amend the Right to Education Act and opposition to the UPA's stand on Section 377 pertaining to homosexuality.
Nervous, Mr Yadav?
Image: Mulayam Singh Yadav during the 2009 election campaign
Photographs: Pawan Kumar/Reuters