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Who Was Behind Killing Pramod Mahajan? Poonam’s Query Raises Hackles

BJP MP Poonam Mahajan’s question, “Who was the mastermind behind killing my father Pramod Mahajan” has created a sensation in political circles since she has raised the question 16 years after the influential BJP leader was shot at by his own brother Pravin, who also is no more. Addressing a BJP rally in Mumbai on October 6, Poonam said everyone knows who killed Pramodji. “But who was the mastermind behind this dastardly act, why was he not found,” she has asked. “It was your government,” she remarked. However, instead of making any allegation against any individual or political party, Poonam came down heavily against Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray, accusing him of dividing society on lingual and religious issues. Poonam and BJP’s Mumbai unit president Ashish Shelar, who also spoke, were addressing the party’s Jagar Yatra (Awakening March) at Bandra (East), the backyard of the Thackeray family residence Matoshri. Poonam lobbed a volley of questions at Uddhav. “If you were so keen on the 50:50 formula of power sharing, why was no BJP corporator allowed to become Mumbai’s mayor,” the two-term MP asked. Hard hitting at Uddhav for instigating the Marathi-Gujarati conflict, Poonam pointed out that the BJP Gujarat unit’s president was a Marathi Manoos. Are you not proud of this fact, she thundered.
Naveen 1

BJP Halts BJD’s Winning Spree In Odisha, Wrest Prestigious Dhamnagar Seat From BJD

In Odisha BJP finally managed to check BJD’s by-poll winning spree since 2019 by winning the prestigious Dhamnagar by-election. It won by a margin of 9,881 votes. Biju Janata Dal supremo Naveen Patnaik said he was not surprised by BJD’s loss. “I always respect the verdict of the people. We expected that BJP would win this by-election” said Patnaik. Why did BJD fail in Dhamnagar by-election when it was predicted to win by a margin of 30,000 votes? Analysts say, one, BJD’s strategy of playing women empowerment card, by fielding Abanti Das failed to counter BJP’s sympathy waves. BJP’s Suryabanshi managed to retain his father’s seat, though more women exercised their franchise this time. Two, possibly BJD’s women card failed to make an impact due to low voter turnout. Three, for BJD it was a self-goal, as it first promised former MLA Rajendra Das of a ticket then changed it at the last moment by nominating a new comer Abanti Das. This created internal dissension and mistrust. BJD also failed to prevail upon Rajendra Das to withdraw from the election race as an Independent. He polled 8,153 votes denting BJD’s vote share and finally making BJP win. Dhamnagar election debacle is a wakeup call for Naveen babu whether he should pursue experiments with women empowerment or rely on the tried and tested politicians to win the election race.

SC Order On EWS Quota Big Boost For BJP, Modi Ahead Of State Polls

In a big win for the Modi Government ahead of Gujarat and Himachal polls, the Supreme Court on November 7 backed a 10% quota in jobs and education for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), introduced just before the 2019 general elections. The EWS quota is not discriminatory and does not alter the basic structure of the constitution, said the majority judgement of SC bench. Two judges Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice Ravindra Bhat dissented. Justice Bhat said he supported quota for the economically backward, but the exclusion of the socially backward sections is not allowed in the Constitution. Economic destitution, economic backwardness is backbone of this amendment and on this account, amendment is constitutionally indefensible. “However, excluding the classes such as SC/ST and OBC is not constitutionally permissible,” Justice Bhat said.  CJI Lalit concurred with his view. The decision stands at 3:2. The EWS quota introduced through the 103rd constitutional amendment helped the BJP to reach out to those castes who were left out of the reservation system, like the Patels in Gujarat, Jats in Haryana, Marathas in Maharashtra and Lingayats in Karnataka. As many as 40 petitions were heard by the SC for 6 days. Tamil Nadu, which has among the highest reservations in the country, opposed the EWS and asked SC to revisit the Indra Sawhney or the Mandal judgement.

Mamata Strikes A Bond With MK Stalin's Wife Durga During Chennai Visit

When West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited Chennai to attend a family function of State Governor La Ganesan early this week, not only did she make it a point to catch up with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin at his residence but she also reportedly struck a bond with Stalin’s wife Durga. She told Durga Stalin how Bengal people worship Goddess Durga. Apparently, anyone who warms up to Durga Stalin is ushered into her puja room, so that’s what happened with Mamata too. Later, Mamata chatted up with Stalin over a cup of coffee. While details of their discussions are not available, it would be interesting to see the kind of impact the TMC chief has on the DMK’s future course in politics. That is of course if both the TMC and DMK plan to work together for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. It would be interesting to see if Stalin begins to temper his pro-Congress image as we know Mamata is opposed to any kind of tie-up or linkages with the Congress. At the moment, Stalin has a good equation with the Congress both at the state and national level. Even Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra had started from Kanyakumari endorsed by DMK top leaders. Mamata who is desperate to expand beyond Bengal needs to tie-up with the DMK.


Is Meenakshi Sheshadri Making A Comeback?

Another popular yesteryear actress is keen to make a comeback. Fifty-nine year old Meenakshi Sheshadri is keen to get back to acting. Interestingly, most of the top actresses of the past are making their comeback statement by appearing on popular reality shows like the Indian Idol, The Kapil Sharma Show Or KBC. So too Meenakshi, she chose the Indian Idol show. She looked fit. Her dancer’s grace and poise for all to see. For the uninitiated Meenakshi is trained in four Indian classical dance forms — Bharata Natyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, and Odissi. In the early 90s she was dating singer Kumar Sanu but Ghayal director Rajkumar Santoshi was very keen to marry her. She shocked and surprised her fans by abruptly giving up her acting career and moved to the U.S. around 1996 after finding her life partner. Meenakshi is not the only actress of the 80s and 90s who is making a comeback. Neetu Singh Kapoor did it after 26 years via a Karan Johar film. Now she is busy with a web series. Bhagyashree of Maine Pyar Kiya fame made a quiet comeback; she was seen in Thalaivi but it was Super Moms that got her noticed. Earlier, we saw the dhak dhak girl Madhuri Dixit coming back to India landing film roles, doing reality shows and endorsing many products.


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.