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Collage Maker-21-Sep-2022-05

Why Is Ashok Gehlot Entering The Cong Prez Election Fray?

Elections in the Congress could just be farcical since as many as 11 Pradesh Congress Committees in states including Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Himachal, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Bihar, Haryana and J&K have passed resolutions backing Rahul Gandhi as party president. While these resolutions are being prompted by the AICC managers, party media-in-charge Jairam Ramesh gave an altogether different spin; he dismissed it as “measures that have no binding effect”. He insisted that any person could contest for the post. It is in this context that the possible entry of Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot that comes as a bit odd and curious. Gehlot said “If people in the party think I am needed in the role of party president or CM, then I won’t say no….I will again request Rahul Gandhi (to become Cong president). If he conducts Bharat Jodo Yatra as party president, then it will create an aura for the party,” he says. Party sources say the Gandhi family could be hugely betting on Gehlot as its trustee to head the Congress. The Gandhis want a non-Gandhi to steer the Congress as a stop gap atleast for six months. It is felt Rahul could make a comeback as Congress chief just before 2024 polls. Only Gehlot could be flexible to make such adjustments provided he gets to continue as CM.
Sharad Pawars

Patra Chawl Land Scam: Sharad Pawar Dares Government To Act Against Him

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar has dared the Maharashtra government to begin a probe against him within eight days regarding a land deal in Mumbai. But his condition is that the government should first announce what its stand would be if the charges are proved unsubstantiated. Mumbai BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar had demanded an enquiry against Pawar after it was revealed that the ED chargesheet against Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had said that a former Maharashtra chief minister had held a meeting to discuss the multi-crore Patra Chawl housing redevelopment scheme in Mumbai. The MLA has written a letter to chief minister Eknath Shinde to press the demand. Stung by the allegation, Pawar hurled the challenge at the government. Former housing minister Jeetendra Avhad, who was sitting by Pawar’s side, said that Pawar did hold a meeting to discuss the matter but it was routine for Pawar to offer guidance and advice in any important situation, he being the elder statesman. Pawar has held thousands of such meetings, Avhad remarked. Last year, Pawar had threatened to walk into the ED office when news was splashed that he had been issued a summons. However, it proved a storm in a tea cup when the ED clarified that it had not sent any such missive to Pawar.
Collage Maker-21-Sep-2022-02

Kanimozhi Thanks Amit Shah For A Trouble-Free Germany Trip

Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s bonhomie with DMK leader Kanimozhi has always had other party bigwigs on the edge and perplexed. Shah is known to wish Kanimozhi on her birthday. She too, like senior leader TR Baalu, has been regularly meeting with Shah and other ministers in her capacity as DMK parliamentary party deputy leader. That’s why recently when Kanimozhi took her mother Rajathi to Germany for medical treatment, Shah not only phoned her but also ensured that she got all necessary help from the local Indian embassy. It is being said, on her return, Kanimozhi called up the HM and thanked him. Conduct of Kanimozhi, who is Thoothukudi Lok Sabha MP, is in contrast to her party colleague and former Union Minister A Raja. The Nilgiris Lok Sabha MP was once a promising Dalit face of the DMK and was even considered to be a potential CM candidate by late DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi. If he was recently found airing controversial statements, it would only be to stay relevant. With pace picking up in Delhi to bring  a closure to the 2G scam by the CBI and Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin working to install his son Udhayanidhi as his heir, Raja who did some jail time in the 2G case just as Kanimozhi did, may have a good reason to sulk.
Collage Maker-12-Sep-2022-01

Patnaik Goes All Out To Promote Buddhist Tourism Using State Funds As Centre Not Providing Any

The astute chief minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik is leaving no stones unturned to transform the state.  So be it the economy, sports, culture or religion all areas and sectors are given equal importance. His latest focus is promoting Buddhist Tourism so as to attract both domestic and foreign tourists to Odisha. This drive will boost local employment and support stone artisans famous for carving Buddha murals.  Come October 28, Odisha will celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Dhauli Shanti Stupa also known as Peace Pagoda located in outskirts Bhubaneswar. It is estimated that 150 monks from different parts of the world would join the celebration. The Dhauli Buddhist Stupa built in 1972 was a collaborative effort between Japan Buddha Sangha and Kalinga Buddha Sangha. But, why is the Odisha government going all out to promote Buddhist Tourism? Reportedly, Patnaik is upset that Odisha despite having a rich heritage of Buddhism dating from 6th century to 16th century, spread over 200 sites across the state, was not included as a Buddhist Circuit Project funded by the Union Government. Instead it gave preference to other neighbouring states like Uttar Pradesh. Instead of whining Patnaik thought it prudent to build up Buddhist  circuit tourism through state funds. It is understood that the Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan who hails from Odisha has urged the Union Culture Minister to include Odisha in the Buddhist circuit list. Now one has to wait and watch.
Collage Maker-19-Sep-2022-01

With Festival Season On, FDA Officials Step Up Raids To Check Food Adulteration

Come festive season the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) is abuzz with raids and surveys to check rampant food adulteration. Since the consumption of sweets is high during festive seasons there is a tendency to adulterate sweets and make a quick buck. This year between May and August 2022, the FDA raided 18 places and seized about 11,697 kg of adulterated foodstuffs valued at over Rs 19 lakhs according to the joint commissioner FDA, Shashikant Kekre. Though Mumbai is no longer a food manufacturing hub, the adulteration with cheaper stocks essentially takes place in the city during the repackaging stage. The FDA officials either track adulteration rackets with the help of tip-offs or trace them with their documentary evidence. If for instance, the final stock of packaged oil doesn’t tally or exceeds the bulk stock procurement, then clearly there is scope for investigation. Once the foodstuffs are confirmed as adulterated by the laboratories, the stuff is destroyed. In the case of milk which is either diluted with water or laced with urea, thus making it unsafe, it is drained off while items like gutkha are burnt out. But in case of palm oil, which is used as an adulterant in other costlier cooking oils like sunflower or groundnut or mustard oil, it is resold in the market to commercial users.


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.