Hours before being sworn in as Ministers of State, a few leaders of the Trinamool Congress were seen sweating it out in central Delhi’s crowded Karol Bagh market.
Their mission: Buying a Bengali-style dhoti-kurta ensemble they’d been directed to wear at the swearing-in ceremony.
After she arrived from Kolkata on Wednesday night, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee (54) dropped this bombshell on six unsuspecting partymen.
With the exception of Sisir Adhikari (69) and Sougata Roy (64), none of the quartet of minister designates — Mohan Jatua (71), Sultan Ahmed (56), Dinesh Trivedi (58) and Mukul Roy (55) — are known to be adept at tying the dhoti.
Nervous about the dhoti falling at an inopportune moment, one leader is said to have gone scouting for dhotis with an elastic belt – like those worn by boys during the Durga Puja. His search was futile, party sources said.
“Ministers from Southern states wear the dhoti and the angawastram (stole), while Rajasthan politicians wear the safa (traditional headgear). I did ask them to wear the dhoti-kurta,” Banerjee said.
“It felt special to be at Rashtrapati Bhawan in a dhoti,” Ahmed told HT.
Trinamool ministers may have discovered hidden virtues of the dhoti for now, but the buzz is that they dread the uniform.
“One can’t do daur dhoop (running around) in the dress. I think we’ll be asked to wear it only on special occasions”, said Ahmed.