Justice Markandeya Katju found himself at the end of Odiya ire when a comment he posted on social media “in a lighter vein” did not go down well with them. The post poked fun at Odiyas, claiming them to be “a dejected lot ever since you (Odiyas) got a thrashing at the hands of Ashoka”. Although Justice Katju did add “Odias, this is just a joke so don’t file a case against me” it was not taken in the same spirit. Eventually, as the rebuke (and abuse) poured in on social media, the outspoken former Justice apologised to the people of Odisha: “If the Odia people are feeling hurt I apologise. I had no intention to hurt their feelings and was only joking. Just as I had joked about Biharis, Tamilians etc.” However, an MP from BJD used some very colourful language to describe what he thought of Justice Katju’s sense of humour.


In November the UP election campaign will take off in real earnest. The BJP is planning four yatras, which will culminate in Lucknow with a rally on 25 December, former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s birthday. The rally will be addressed by PM Narendra Modi, while the yatras will be led by BJP president Amit Shah and Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Interestingly, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar too has been roped in to address public meetings, which is significant in light of the recent surgical strikes. The Congress too has just seen Rahul Gandhi complete his Kisan Yatra. In November, his sister Priyanka will also hit the campaign trail in the state. Clearly, the yearend will see the focus shifting to Uttar Pradesh.


There is much speculation over Rahul Gandhi’s dash to Chennai to call on the ailing Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, especially since he has barely paid any courtesy visits to the DMK chief, M. Karunanidhi, who is his ally in the state. One reason for this, say party sources, is that the current state chief of the Congress, Thirunavukkarasar is a former AIADMK man. Could Rahul be looking to build ties with the AIADMK in a post Jaya scenario? Especially since it is well known that the tie up with the DMK for the Assembly elections last year did not have his blessings.


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