OFF THE RECORD review on Nagpur Winter Session 2016!!
1. Fan Moment for me & baba
When RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat told us, Yes I have heard about your newspaper and people say you write with conviction & with no fear (OFF THE RECORD) !! Why were we elated by this comment from Mohan Bhagwat? We know the whose who in Maharashtra Politics read what we write, even on Facebook, but surely it needs guts to press the “like” button, share our article or comment on the post. People don’t as they fear consequences, as either we have written something against his boss or colleague or a friend. They know us, they read about us but they will never acknowledge us! For instance everyone must be knowing who IBN star Prashant Baug is? The star bureau-chief of North Maharashtra blinks no eyelid to acknowledge even in front of his former boss & colleague Nikhil Wagle to say that it was because of Patrakar Hemant Joshi that he began my career in Journalism. For those who don’t know, another BIGGEST journalist in today’s political beat Yadu Joshi is my father’s younger brother. He is in Journalism because of my father today. Had it not been Hemant Joshi who with folded hands requested & prayed to Naresh Gadre & Editor Yudisthir Joshi of Nagpur Patrika to let Yadukaka work as a trainee, today Maharashtra would have missed a great journalist. People like Baug, will say it N number of times, but Yadukaka will find a way out to disassociate himself from his elder brother & mentor who gave him his flourishing career. No, we don’t want his acknowledgements. We are altogether in another league today, but how people & time change is what I meant through this.
2. Chandrakant Gundewar & MLA Sunil Deshmukh
Only bad news during entire winter session was about bureaucrat Chandrakant Gundewar applying for VRS after the announcement of ‘punishment’ from the House on complain of MLA Sunil Deshmukh. What transpired between them was uncalled for! Surprisingly though Gundewar is not an IAS he worked in the capacity of Municipal Commissioner & received tremendous support from the public wherever he worked. See, there are few instances where bureaucrat goes wrong, in this case-defamatory remarks against MLA Sunil Deshmukh went against him which led to the punishment. But tell me, apart from one such incident, the image of this 51 year old bureaucrat is clean, which is the need of the hour. The committee & the CM should have given a second thought on bruising self-respect of such able officer. In fact any senior IAS officer, or the Divisional Commissioner or even the CM should have intervened and solved the problem. Maharashtra will miss the services of an able officer, and worst the motivation of other officers working on “no messing” attitude goes for a toss. But at the same time, bureaucrats must understand one thing. Any MLA even the likes of Vishnu Savra whom we often joke about, is chosen by 3 lakh people. He is no joke. MLA is tremendously capable person with deep pockets, high influence & knowledge. Many people think an MLA is of no use, he or she don’t have any knowledge, but my friends, looks are deceptive. Thats why they occupy the chair in the Assembly and we don’t! Don’t underestimate them.
Suyog, the housing centre of working journalists who cover Assembly in nagpur, was in the news for wrong reasons. Two senior journalists fought over petty issues and every evening there were “mehfils” which spoilt the santicity of the place. Senior Journalist Uday Tanpathak was deeply missed by junior’s who often takes care of many problems arising. Right from bringing in guests every morning for OFF THE RECORD charcha, to playing peacemaker in the fights over drinks, Tanpathak plays a huge role and supporting role even to the leaders of journalists.
4. CM Devendra Fadnavis
Happen to meet CM at his residence Ramagiri before coming back to Mumbai. Senior journalists also had to wait for 2 hours as the CM was listening to a presentation given by ambassadors of the US of A. The CM is ready at 9 am in the morning and sleeps only at 2am, I was informed. Only two people I know or have heard off, who work with equal passion. One is legend Sharad Pawar & the other Ajit Pawar. During his DCM days, the first appointment that of Ajit Pawar use to begin at the morning 6am.
5. Overall Proceedings in the Assembly
It was very dull in the lower house as compared to the upper house where you have stalwarts & great orators like that of Narayan Rane & Dhannjay Munde. In the lower house, when LOP Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil makes a point, forget the Speaker, even Prithviraj Chavhan who is sitting next to him, misses what the LOP is trying to make the house understand. A substantial failure & (in hiding) friend of the BJP, Vikhe always threatens a walk-out, a practice which is new to me. With limited numbers of MLA in the opposition, walk out does not seem to be an option. Even with limited numbers, when Khadse or Fadnavis use to stand for their speeches as LOP, the entire house was on toes. They both were enough to stall the proceedings and not stage a walk-out. Jayant Patil of the NCP still seems to not recover from the losses at the Nagar panchayat election results thus eliminating the only voice of opposition had in the lower house.
6. Maratha Morcha
The numbers were not impressive. Nagpur was on it’s feet in 2 hours after the morcha reached Vidhan Bhavan. If we compare the earlier outings of the community to demand reservation, this I would rate, the least attended in terms of numbers. It may call itself a well-disciplined gathering but anything that is disciplined, it will not seek attention.
7. Star of the House
Ashish Shelar undoubtedly!!
8. Star Coverage
Lokmat newspaper..No other newspaper covering the house, gives you information of smallest incident occurring inside or outside the house.