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Collage Maker-26-Aug-2022-05

Congress Presidential Elections: Whom Are The Bookies Betting On?

The Congress is in turmoil over electing its President. It won’t be Rahul Gandhi if he has his way. Since owning up to the 2019 defeat, he has been steadfast in not only staying away from heading it but also insisting on someone from outside the Rajiv Gandhi family to take the mantle. While those like Ghulam Nabi Azad who are dissatisfied with his way of wanting power without responsibility are quitting, the field is narrowing. Azad, only a long shot for the job – bookies had him at 100-1 as he is one of the G-23 rebels – is out of the race now. Among the non-Gandhi family members likely to head the party, if Sonia Gandhi and both her children do give the green signal for it are: P Chidambaram, who the bookies place at 3-1, on par with Jairam Ramesh who has gained traction since being a sober and disciplined soldier of the party and family as the chief spokesperson. But the overwhelming favourite among bookmakers is Ashok Gehlot at evens since rumours are that he has already been offered the job by Sonia. At 10-1 beyond the favourites is the debonair Shashi Tharoor who might even be a bright face for the party provided Sonia is okay with him being in the contest.


Finally Ghulam Nabi Azad Quits Cong; Gehlot, Jairam Troll Him For Questioning Rahul

In a major setback to the Congress, party veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad quit as its primary member; he announced he would launch his own party in J&K. Short Post broke the story on August 18. In a 5-page letter to party president Sonia Gandhi, Azad made it clear that the situation in the Congress had reached a point of ‘no return’. In a parting shot, Azad bitterly criticised Rahul Gandhi as a “non-serious person “for conceding  political space at the national level and at state levels to the BJP and regional parties. “Post 2019 elections after Rahul Gandhi stepped down in a huff and not before insulting all the senior party functionaries who have given their lives to the party. The remote-control model that destroyed the UPA got applied to Congress,” said Azad. “While you are just a nominal figurehead, all important decisions were being taken by Rahul Gandhi or rather worse his security guards and PAs,” he said. Congress leaders attacked Azad for writing a letter when Sonia was abroad with her son Rahul for a medical check-up and claimed it was aimed at demoralising party workers gearing up for September 7 Bharat Jodo Yatra.  Top party leaders from Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot to AICC media-in-charge Jairam Ramesh to Tamil Nadu MP Jothimani trolled Azad. Gehlot said: ”For 42 years, Congress had given Azadji important responsibilities. No one expected such a letter from him “.

Will Ranbir Kapoor’s Brahmastra Break The Bollywood Jinx?

The general thinking was that Vijay Deverakonda starrer Ligor like all south movies KGF 2, RRR, and Pushpa released pan India over the last one year would be a big hit. Far from it. The latest news is that Liger has been mauled at the box office and hopes that the popular Telugu star Vijay Deverakonda would hold sway over Bollywood has been belied. Manoj Desai, owner of Gaiety-Galaxy, Maratha Mandir theatres in a social media message asked an arrogant Vijay to wake up and smell the coffee. Now, all eyes are riveted on Ranbir Kapoor’s starrer Brahmastra which has the backing of SS Rajamouli of Bahubali fame as a presenter down South. The marketing and promotions of the film seem to have impressed the fans of both Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt who will be seen for the first time on screen with her husband, Ranbir. The music of the film seems to have resonated well with the audience. Some trade sources say that Ranbir Kapoor has a good hold in Hindi and it is clear from the day one opening of Shamshera which opened with Rs 10 crore collections. It is the content that failed his box office success but this time tie-up with south’s bigwig will help the film.  So the question everybody wants an answer is: will Brahmastra break the jinx for Bollywood? Wait for a few days.

KR Nayar

Virat Kohli All Set For A Twenty20 Century Against Pakistan On Sunday!

While the cricket world is vertically split on whether the much celebrated Virat Kohli should figure in India’s Twenty20 international campaigns, the former India captain is happily preparing for a significant milestone in the shortest format of the game. Kohli who made his Twenty20 debut against Zimbabwe at Harare on June 12, 2010 will play his 100th match against Pakistan in the Asia Cup opener at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday, August 28. Kohli, a fabulous batter across all formats is the third highest run getter with 3308 runs in 99 matches. The first two are New Zealand’s Martin Guptill (121 matches, 3497 runs) and India captain Rohit Sharma (132 matches, 3487 runs). Kohli has featured in 62 India wins. His highest is an unbeaten 94 against the West Indies at Hyderabad in December 2019. He has been most productive at No 3, making 2469 runs. He has accumulated most of his runs against Australia (718) and England (589 runs), but has been successful against Pakistan against which his scores are 78 not out, 9, 27, 36 not out, 49, 55 not out and 57. Not exactly in great touch in recent times, Kohli will be India’s choice at No 3 in the Asia Cup and the World Cup in Australia. He will be the second Indian after Sharma and the 14th in Twenty20 to touch the magic 100 match mark.

Raj Thackeray’s New Slogan Embraces Hindutva And Marathi Manoos

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has relaunched his duel campaign by coining a brand new slogan that appeals to Hindutva and Marathi Manoos at the same time. The new slogan is designed for mobilising response to the MNS enrolment campaign. Raj made this announcement in Pune on August 25 while presenting the slogan. Just two days ago, he had supported controversial BJP former spokesperson Nupur Sharma in a rally of MNS. At that meeting, he had announced his plans to tour the state to spread his message. The new MNS slogan is, “Mee Hindavi Rakshak, Mee Maharashtra Sevak” (I am a protector of Hindutva, I am a servant of Maharashtra.) It was made public after Raj inaugurated the enrollment drive. Banners displaying this slogan have come up at prominent locations in Mumbai and elsewhere. Raj’s return to the Hindutva plank is considered important since the Shiv Sena under Uddhav Thackeray has been finding it difficult to make earlier claims of being the sole representative of Hindutva or Marathi Manoos after Uddhav joined hands with the Congress and the NCP. As a result, there is a vacuum which Raj is planning to fill up. Since his bold assertion over Hindutva in Mumbai a couple of days ago, Raj has been receiving increasing response. In Pune, he enjoyed a hearty welcome. Soon, he will be visiting Nasik and Aurangabad.


Editor’s Note: Big Punch In Small Pack

It is the Third Anniversary of Short Post and as a news media startup launched during the Covid-19 pandemic it certainly feels better than good to find ourselves where we are today. Here, I must cite the unstinted support of our seasoned contributors, all senior editors in the country, who brought a great degree of maturity and sagacity to the Short Post newsroom. But for them, our tagline “Authentic Gossip”, an Oxymoron, would not have matured viably. Our user numbers may be small but our stories have created the desired impact among people who matter — decision makers and influencers. We offer a big punch in a small pack and Short Post with its 225-word stories has been punching above its weight category. Having posted close to 3,000 stories in the last 36 months, Short Post, I feel, is an idea whose time has come.
And this is vindicated by our two marquee advertisers – IDFC FIRST Bank and ICICI Lombard. Both believed in our story and have supported us from Day one. A big thank you to both.
If you look at the media landscape – print, TV and digital — it is a mixed bag. There are job losses as some outfits have closed down while a lucky few were bailed out by large corporate houses. Yes, there is a lot of action in the digital space. However, the entry of corporate houses has raised the question of independence of news media outfits. Sadly, there are just a handful of independent media outfits in the country that are highly respected for their neutrality. At Short Post, our credo is not to take sides, prejudge issues or be biased but, informing readers of behind-the-scenes happenings. In essence, Short Post strives to be a neutral editorial platform — neither anti-establishment nor pro-establishment.
As I said last year, disruptions in the media world are moving at a fast and furious pace. Technology is playing a very big role in how content is generated and consumed. But, we are neither alarmed nor perturbed as it is all a part of the evolution process. What gives us comfort is that AI is unable to create original gossipy content. And that is the news arena where we have achieved a distinction.