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National - Elections 2004 Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

POLL-POURRI

Laloo and cricket

Watching the India-Pakistan cricket series with the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief, Laloo Prasad Yadav, is an experience.

At his Tughlak road residence in Delhi, he matched the experts on TV with comments of his own, making everyone laugh. As Mohd Kaif danced down the pitch to belt Shoaib Akhtar and Irfan Pathan stared the Pakistanis in the eye, Mr. Yadav was all pumped up. "Look how my boys are doing," he said. His favourite appeared to be Balaji. As the Tamil Nadu lad struck some lusty blows towards the end, Mr. Yadav wondered if he had the heart of a Bihari.

Like all good politicians he could not resist the temptation of taking a crack at his rivals. "We will hit the BJP for a six; Mr. Advani didn't want this team to go, but the pressure from the public forced them to send the team. Cricket has won and [the] BJP has lost."

A hit on the Net

Narendra Modi's brand of politics may have been kept aside by the Bharatiya Janata Party, but he is still in demand — at least on the Internet, where his website attracts the maximum number of hits (visits in web language) after the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and the President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

According to one study, Mr. Modi's personal website — www.narendramodi.org — gets about 6,960 direct hits a day. The personal website of the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, is a distant second with 3,219 hits a day.

Lucky number

Nine is considered a lucky number in Andhra Pradesh.

The late N. T. Rama Rao, ensured that the strength of his Cabinet was such that its numbers added up to nine. The Cabinet of another Chief Minister, T. Anjaiah, had 72 members.

Notwithstanding his tech-savvy image, the TDP president, N. Chandrababu Naidu, too has a liking for the number.

When he clinched the seat-sharing arrangement with the BJP's Pramod Mahajan, he conceded only 27 Assembly and nine Lok Sabha seats. The TDP's first list had 72 candidates. Unluckily for him, neither the dates of polling (April 20 and 26) nor counting (May 12) fall in the category.

What's in a name?

The Congress does not like its leader, Sonia Gandhi's poll campaign to be dubbed a `road show' because it has a rather cheap connotation. Hence the official name is `Sampark Abhiyan.' However, the media-given name has stuck. A party worker preparing Ms. Gandhi's schedule in Maharashtra was, however, unaware of this and used the term `road show' But before it could be distributed to the media, someone noticed it and corrected it in time. One could, however, read both — `road show' and 'abhiyan' — in the schedule. Now no one should wonder what is in a name.

— Javed M. Ansari, Anita Joshua, S. Nagesh Kumar, Arunkumar Bhatt

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