Mumbai Diary page: Saturday Scene
So/Mo worries the MRCC
The cancellation of party chief Sonia Gandhi’s proposed rally at Malegaon, a part of Dhule Lok Sabha, has caused an upset in Congress circles. Here, Congress candidate Amrish Patel is pitted against the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Dr Subhash Bhamre. Now, the news of BJP PM-nominee Narendra Modi’s rally at Dhule has added to the party’s worries.
Congressmen feel that Sonia can still attract more people than her son, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi. It was evident after Rahul’s rally was compared with Modi’s recently at Latur, where someone posted comparative pictures of the crowd on social media, further unnerving the Congress.
With the Gujarat CM scheduled to address a rally on April 21 at the Bandra-Kurla Complex, a day after the Congress rally at the very same venue, the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee is being extra careful.
The party has aimed for a quota of attendees, and for an added attraction it has invited Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar too, hoping that his presence will bring in the crowds.
Good Friday gaffe
State president of the Bharatiya Janata Party Devendra Fadnavis has planted his foot firmly in his mouth with a tweet on the occasion of Good Friday.
His Twitter message says, “Wishing you all a happy and blessed Good Friday!”, and to drive home the point he has also posted an artistically designed picture, conveying the same message, and a silhouette image of Jesus Christ on the cross. (We just can’t bring ourselves to reproduce the image here, so we have desisted!)
Anyone with even an iota of knowledge about Easter has to know that Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Christ, and is marked with fasting and penance.
In the age of the internet, it is inexcusable that Fadnavis sent this message out. Not less because, as well as being the BJP chief, he is also an MLA. Where he should be politically savvy, he has displayed blatant ignorance.
At the time of writing this, several people had replied to the tweet pointing out that one does not wish a “happy” Good Friday. However, there appears to have been no reaction, and when we last checked the tweet was still up.
(In fact it had been followed by another one regarding World Heritage Day.) It may well have been a gimmick to garner support from the Christian community, but it could end up ensuring the opposite.
No ill will
With the clock ticking for Mumbai’s election date, April 24, one thinks there should be voting of another kind — for the best jokes buzzing on social media. One doing the rounds is this: Sonia Gandhi is unwell. The doctor has diagnosed “NaMo-nia”.
It IS not only on local trains that would-be enterprising souls try to get away with pulling the chain for an unauthorised stop. A Mumbaikar witnessed this on the Avantika Express recently, when travelling from Indore to Mumbai.
File picture for representation
When the train was between Ujjain and Ratlam, one of the passengers wanted to get down but didn’t want to wait till the train had reached Ratlam. So he thought he would disembark via the simple expedient of pulling the chain.
But what he did not realise is that the motorman can see in which compartment the chain was pulled. The motorman of the train thus alerted the nearest policeman on duty, who followed the chain-pulling passenger off the train, and promptly nabbed him. He was fined and let go. That was one expensive home-coming, we have to say.