Sandeep Sahu is a senior Bhubaneswar based journalist with over 35 years of work behind him. He has worked for a host of top local, national and international media houses.
The similarities between the two cases, five years apart, are stunning. Just as in the case of the raids on Sambad today, the elections were just a few months away when the organised, systematic and meticulously planned attempts to go after OTV and harass all those even remotely connected with it started.
The police that had slapped Sec 307 (attempt to murder) charges on a bunch of Youth Congress activists who had dared to throw eggs on the Chief Minister’s cavalcade a few years ago – none of which hit the CM’s vehicle, by the way – set the accused, Bhaskar Sahu, free.
Top BJP leaders from the state, who were having a discussion with the Home minister over a breakfast meeting, discreetly left the place as soon as Pandian arrived so that the two could have a free and frank chat without being constrained by the presence of ‘others’!
At an informal level, they have always been in an alliance since Modi rode to power at the Centre in 2014. But it is now high time the two parties involved – the BJD and the BJP – accorded it a formal shape.
While his political exploits are well documented, not even the most seasoned political commentator has been able to put a finger on what exactly is behind his continuing honeymoon with the people of Odisha that shows no signs of waning anytime soon.
Having announced the name of the alliance, the leaders of INDIA themselves appear to have realized the damage potential of this strange-sounding acronym as evident in the late-night decision to add a tagline “Jeetega Bharat” to limit the damage.
And pray what they were raising a din against? First, that Manoj Das was described as a ‘poet’. Was he not one? The din raisers clearly don’t know that the doyen of Odia writing started his long and illustrious literary career with poetry.
I remember the values you ingrained in me; the principles you lived by all your life (and often paid a heavy price for it) and the lessons you imparted in sharing the joys of life.
The most startling part of the whole thing is that everyone appears to be perfectly happy with this arrangement. Ministers fall over one other to pay obeisance to the officer. Bureaucrats way senior to him in the hierarchy are in awe of him.
Test cricket, for them, is a needless distraction that has to be somehow endured till the marquee event. And the tragedy is: the players and the BCCI are on the same page on this.
Unknown to the intrepid reporter, the grieving woman and her angry relative, I too was recording the sound byte of the wailing on my mobile phone. My commissioning editor in Delhi had kept reminding me about that elusive wailing audio with which she wanted to start the radio package even before I had reached Ground Zero.
Those interpreting the Karnataka results as an early indicator of the defeat of the BJP in the coming Lok Sabha elections would do well to remember what happened the last time.
Political motives are being imputed to the protest by all and sundry in the establishment. A triumphant sounding Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the ‘sidelined’ president of Indian Wrestling Federation (IWF) who stands accused of sexual harassment by top female boxers of the country, is leading the charge against the protesting wrestlers and has the temerity to accuse the protesting wrestlers of being backed by ‘one family’, ‘one akhara’ and funded by an industrial house.
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it," says a statement attributed to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels. Someone in the ruling dispensation in Odisha appears to have taken the advice too seriously.
What was supposed to be a question of who will become the next Congress president has now been reduced to who will be the next Chief Minister of Rajasthan!
As Naveen Patnaik readies for his second visit to foreign land, possibility of a ‘revolt’ looks as remote as the sun rising in the west!
The decision to postpone CHSE Plus-2 examinations scheduled on May 31 marks the height of callousness. After all, it's just a by-election!
Be magnanimous in victory, gracious in defeat, they say. But the ruling BJD appears to have turned this old adage on its head, if its conduct over the last few years in general - and the period since the last panchayat and urban elections in particular - is anything to go by.
More than causing headache for the three major contenders - BJP, BJD and Congress, the results of the municipal elections have instead created the possibility of instability sometime in the future in several ULBs.
The one noticeable thing during the three phases of polling so far has been that the most of the major incidents of violence have taken place in the politically volatile coastal Odisha while polling has passed off relatively peacefully in the areas grappling with left wing extremism.