How’s the josh, Congmen ask in Rahul Gandhi’s Yatra


The other day, while passing through Pathankot, Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra was the cynosure of all eyes. A public rally was held in Sarna, a sleepy little township on the Gurdaspur-Pathankot national highway, to celebrate the culmination of the Punjab leg of the journey. Sarna falls in the assembly segment of ex-Bhoa Congress MLA Joginder Pal but he did little of interest to be noticed. The onus then fell on ex-Pathankot MLA Amit Vij and his brother Ashish Vij to make the show a resounding success. And this they did with aplomb. Even their detractors wondered what magic wand the brothers had which ensured the show went on without any hitch. For once, Raja Warring’s warring group of Congressmen buried their king-sized egos deep into the sands. The Vij brothers had won half the battle when Congressmen decided to work in unison. Rahul’s close aides admit the Yatra has transformed him into a better man and even a better leader of men. “The earlier tentativeness has vanished. These days, there is a new-found poise and confidence in him. He does not give his opponents enough ammunition to fire volleys at him. His words now carry more weight among the party rank and file than ever before,” said Amit Vij. When he walked, Punjab politicians and the cops, barring the elite ones manning Rahul’s Z-security, were hard pressed to match Rahul step for step. Many escaped in the side alleys only to surface at the end point. “Many times midway in his walk, he would suddenly start running. It was indeed difficult to catch up with him,” said a prominent ex-Punjab minister. Not many know that he is a trained scuba-diving instructor and a fairly good swimmer. During the Yatra, Pathankot was a city teeming with VIPs. Himachal Chief Minister Sukhwinder Sukhu, his deputy Mukesh Aggarwal and Congress bigwig Rajiv Shukla were all guests of Amit Vij. And till these dignitaries remained in town, the cops had a hard time to make certain no untoward incident took place. Needless to say, everything went off sans any scare.

‘Farzi PM’, a slip tongue for partap bajwa

Partap Singh Bajwa is known for his fairly decent oratorical skills. However, on this occasion he seemed to have slipped a bit. During his speech at Rahul Gandhi’s rally, he asked Rahul not to impose some ‘farzi’ (fake) Prime Minister on them in 2024. “I request you to become the PM after the next polls. Last time, you imposed upon us a farzi PM,” he said. A video of his speech went viral. Many speculated he had targeted Dr Manmohan Singh. However, people who know him claimed he will never commit such a blunder as he had a lot of respect for the ex-PM. There were others who said in place of ‘Farzi PM’, he actually wanted to say ‘Farzi CM.’ This seems to have some logic. Ex-CM Charanjit Channi was very much on stage when Bajwa delivered his speech. Was it that he wanted to target the ex-CM but ended up, following a slip of the tongue, berating an ex-PM? Only Bajwa can clear the doubts. (contributed by Ravi Dhaliwal)