Sycophancy and politics go hand in hand. Both cannot survive without each other. While the Congress is known for the irresistible ‘Madam’ fixation, the BJP cannot function without toeing the lines of RSS bigwigs. Politicians falling at the feet of ‘Amma’ Jayalalithaa and ‘Neta’ Mulayam are well known. Keeping the tradition alive were the newly-elected councillors, who came in all smiles to take oath at Vijayawada Municipal Corporation recently. One over-enthusiastic corporator, instead of taking oath either by invoking God or his conscience, sullied the image of the event by invoking Vijayawada Central MLA Bonda Uma Maheswara Rao who was instrumental in his getting the ticket to contest. District Collector took objection to the ‘new’ trend and asked the corporator to change his version, who, later, took the oath invoking his conscience.

Pen is not mighty for them

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders, who never missed an opportunity to remind people of the ‘signatures’ promised by their supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu, forgot to carry pens to append their signatures at the oath-taking ceremony.

Most of them came for the ceremony without a pen and the staff on duty at the Council offered their pens but later, criticized what they called the ‘laxity of the emerging politicians. The clerks on duty discussed in hushed voices how could the newly-elected corporators afford to forget their pens after they had so vigorously campaigned on the ‘first signatures’ of their leader.

Lack of camaraderie

Goof ups in arranging seats may put people in a piquant position. The corporation staff made seating arrangements for the swearing-in ceremony at the council and placed name plates of the corporators, MLAs and MP, who are the ex-officio members of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) Council.

A seat for YSRCP MLA Jaleel Khan was allotted between TDP MLAs Gadde Rammohan Rao and the party’s Central MLA Bonda Umamheswara Rao. This did not go down well with some of the TDP leaders, including Mr. Bonda who pushed Mr. Jaleel Khan’s name plate to the next table and sat beside his party leader Gadde Rammohan. Mr. Jaleel Khan noticed it but politely shook his hands with both the TDP MLAs and said with a smile: “Shouldn’t I sit beside you?”. His remark left the TDP leaders red faced.

Practise what you preach

Pleas to switch off mobile phones or put them in silent mode in meetings and press conferences by the organisers often go unheeded. In one such incident, a video journalist of a regional news channel, who did not put his mobile in silent mode, received a call.

The ring tone of his mobile left the gathering in splits and the video journalist was embarrassed when his counterpart reminded him of the importance of putting the mobile in silent mode during meetings. Within minutes, the second journalist who had counseled his peer, received a call on his mobile and the loud ring tone “Mellaga ra” of a popular advertisement, left him in an awkward position. One must practice what one preaches.

Always in the limelight

Politicians seem to leave no stone unturned to remain in limelight. Cutting across party lines, some leaders put up flexi boards and banners made of vinyl-sheets on electrical poles and junctions to greet newly-elected city mayor and his deputy, while others erect posters to extend greetings on festivals. A few weeks ago, leaders from the ruling party put up yellow posters on high-rise buildings, foot-over-bridges (FoBs), government buildings and shopping malls to attract eyeballs of all and sundry during swearing-in of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu near Acharya Nagarjuna University. This publicity craze is turning out to be a boon for politicians as well as flexi makers.

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