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Dilli Tales: Ticket seekers find novel way to woo Rahul!

Last updated on: January 12, 2012 16:51 IST

Dilli Tales: Ticket seekers find novel way to woo Rahul!

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Text messages for Rahul; Uma Bharti gets cold feet; Mamata snubs Jairam; Congress find its Lokpal...Tales from Raisina Hill, a new column from New Delhi's political power hub.

Ticket and attention seekers in the Uttar Pradesh Congress have found a unique way to reach out to Rahul Gandhi.

These enthusiasts have started sending text messages, written in impeccable English, to a close aide of the Congress general secretary.

The experiment has worked; these text messages are promptly responded and an interview/audience is arranged.

Team Rahul seems partial to those blessed with a good command over English, even in short text form.

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Image: Rahul Gandhi during an election campaign in Uttar Pradesh
Photographs: Jitendra Prakash/Reuters

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Unsure of a poll victory?

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Pressure is mounting on sadhvi Uma Bharti to contest the Uttar Pradesh assembly poll, but the firebrand leader has developed cold feet.

Uma Bharti's supporters want her to contest the election from Babina, which is part of Bundelkhand and shares a border with Madhya Pradesh.

But the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister is not sure of her victory from this seemingly 'safe seat,' fearing 'sabotage' from her bete noire, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Madhya Pradesh's chief minister.

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Image: Uma Bharti at a political rally in Madhya Pradesh
Photographs: Kamal Kishore/Reuters

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Snubbed by Didi

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Mamata Banerjee is proving a tough customer for the Congress.

Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh learnt this the hard way when he tried to project himself as an interlocutor.

Jairam announced that he was going to Kolkata, ostensibly to bridge Congress-Trinamul differences, but when he tried to firm up his appointment with the Bengal chief minister, she reportedly declined to come on the line.

Jairam is now busy telling everyone that it was a routine official meeting that will be held later.

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Image: Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh
Photographs: Jay Mandal

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Who says we have no Lokpal?

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Election fever is causing lots of problems for Janardhan Dwivedi, chairman of the All India Congress Committee media department.

Union ministers, spokespersons, the party's self-appointed spin doctors, its crisis managers are all out in the open, issuing statements after statements.

Dwivedi's job is to defuse the crisis when two Union ministers lock horns or senior leaders from a particular election state issue statements that contradicts the party's official voice.

The list of guests visiting television studios also requires clearance.

In Congress circles, Dwivedi is referred to as an in-house 'Lokpal.'

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Image: Congress spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi

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Beer will save the day

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Vijay Mallya has been knocking at several doors these days, but the UPA regime does not appear in a mood to oblige the king of good times.

In the process, the booze businessman has been getting a lot of unsolicited advice.

A Union minister was heard telling Mallya to explore the possibility of applying a one rupee cess on all the beer bottles his UB group sells, which could be used to bail out his struggling Kingfisher Airline.

Mallya reportedly responded sharply that he did not want to lose the liquor trade too.


Image: UB Group and Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya outside Parliament


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