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Election fashion

After watching election coverage on the news channels for most of last week, my head is in such a spin you could probably wash clothes in it. All political parties and politicians keep saying the same things in so many permutations and combinations, I no longer know who means what, writes Poonam Saxena.

india Updated: Oct 09, 2009 16:36 IST
Poonam Saxena

After watching election coverage on the news channels for most of last week, my head is in such a spin you could probably wash clothes in it. All political parties and politicians keep saying the same things in so many permutations and combinations, I no longer know who means what. Think about it (frankly, why should you? I mean, there are better things to think about, like Priyanka Gandhi's clothes, but more about that later). But do bear with me for the moment, and just think about it: The Left said they would only go with the Third Front. Now Sitaram Yechury says all options are open. Mulayam Singh Yadav said he would go with the Congress. Now he says he will go with whoever sacks Mayawati. Nitish Kumar says he will stay with the NDA, but the UPA says he might go with them. The BJP said it would talk to nobody except those people who were in the NDA. Now Rajnath Singh says they will talk to everybody if the NDA doesn’t get a majority. And so on. And so forth.

The day is not far off when news channels will brightly inform us that according to the latest post-poll manouvering, the Left will talk to the Congress if Manmohan Singh is not in the same room though they really want to talk only to the Third Front but they can no longer talk to Jayalalitha of the Third Front because she is talking to the NDA but they are quite willing to talk to another constituent of the Third Front, Nitish Kumar, if he is no longer with the NDA and they are also ready to talk to Lalu Prasad Yadav because though he is with the UPA whom they don’t want to talk to, he is not with the BJP and they certainly, definitely don’t want to talk to that entity as long as they live. Of that they are quite sure.

I cannot tell you how grateful I am for small mercies.

Have you also noticed that tempers seem to be running quite high these days? We saw Mulayam Singh Yadav quarrelling with a poll officer, insisting that his armed security men should be allowed inside the election booth when he casts his vote. (Why? Did he think there was a midget assassin lurking under the EVM, ready to spring out the moment Mulayamji entered the booth?)

Eventually, he pointed to a spot just outside the booth and asked belligerently if his security men could stand there. The polling officer, who was clearly thoroughly exasperated by then (wouldn’t have blamed him if he’d sprinted inside and hidden below the EVM), said yes, they could stand there. Which they duly did and Mulayamji stumped off to perform the highly risky task of casting his vote.

Lalu Prasad Yadav also lost his temper — not with a polling officer, but with a news cameraman who had strayed inside the polling booth to get pictures. Now Lalu probably knows perfectly well — like the rest of the world does — that news cameramen reflexively rush to places they’re not supposed to be in (doorsteps are a particular favourite). But he still pushed the cameraman out. May the latter have his revenge by henceforth always shooting Lalu in very, very tight close-ups.

I also watched in amazement a very long programme on Star News about Priyanka Gandhi’s sartorial style. The reason for the programme? The fact that Priyanka appeared in Western clothes when she went to cast her vote.

Star News interviewed fashion designer Leena Singh on the subject. Allow me to paraphrase what Ms Singh had to say: ‘Priyanka looks really nice in this form-fitting top and trousers. She looked so elegant when she wore a white shirt with black trousers in Parliament. And she looks really lovely when she wears saris too. She’s got such a nice figure, she’s maintained it so well. Actually she looks nice in everything because itna depth hai unki personality mein. She’s a lovely person from inside.’

I’m convinced I’ve got diabetes.