BJP’s M. Venkaiah Naidu is known for his statements that carry a lot of punch. Be it the criticism of other parties or defending his own party, he has a barrage of one-liners ready.

Describing how the BJP has set a new trend with its PM candidate Narendra Modi’s meetings, he had said: “We don’t believe in the four Bs, so we started charging Rs. 5 (Rs. 10 in Tamil Nadu) from people who attend these meetings.”

The four Bs, he said, were Bus, Biryani, Bottle and Batta (the money given to the mobilised crowd).

On the frequent statements of AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh, the BJP leader was at his rhyming, sarcastic and staccato best.

“He is now the in-charge of AP. It has to be seen whether he will discharge his duties or the Congress opts for a recharge to make him work.”

A memorable handshake

Though it was a solemn occasion, there was a bit of humour at the meeting near the iconic Charminar on Saturday on the occasion of the 23 anniversary of ‘Sadbhavana’ yatra led by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi for communal harmony.

The leader who triggered off peels of laughter was Rajya Sabha member V. Hanumantha Rao, as he lived up to his reputation.

Explaining Rajiv Gandhi’s charisma, Mr. Rao said that he had never seen crowds as huge as the one on October 19, 1990, all through the yatra route from Charminar to Secunderabad railway station.

Men and women vied to shake hands with Rajiv Gandhi. Women, in particular, would not leave his hand when they got hold of it, he recalled.

Jayanthi and Vardhanthi

It is sad but true, that ever-so-often, so-called distinguished speakers, ‘netas’ do not think before they talk.

It was proved once again, just the other day at a function to celebrate the birth anniversary (Jayanthi) of the sage, Valmiki.

A Minister got confused between the words ‘Jayanthi’ and ‘Vardhanthi’ (death anniversary) after an earlier speaker recalled how the day coincided with the ‘Vardhanthi’ of the tribal revolutionary, Komaram Bheem.

The best part was that the ‘neta’ was blissfully unaware of the knowing looks that were exchanged by the audience and continued with nary a care. Sigh!

Cricket, Phailin and Telangana

We have heard Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy comparing the issue of bifurcation of AP/formation of Telangana with that of a limited-over cricket match.

After the Union Cabinet note got the ‘T’ nod on October 3, he said the match was not over until the last ball was bowled!

A cricketer himself, he said he wouldn’t lose hope on keeping AP united - until the Bill on Telangana was passed in Parliament and the President gave his assent.

In cyclone-affected Srikakulam on Sunday, the CM sought to drive home the point that all was not lost, yet.

It was not possible for me to stop Phailin, the super cyclone, from hitting north coastal Andhra, but I will make every effort to stop the “bifurcation cyclone” with people’s support, he said.

A TJAC leader, however, wondered how Mr. Reddy could win the match when he was losing wickets - with partners getting run out, one by one!