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My father said some things you learn...

"Babu, haat jure pronam koro shobai ke (Babu, fold your hands and greet the people)" were the first words from Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to his son Abhijit Mukherjee as they started off in an open jeep from Nalhati station. Surojit Ghosh Hazra reports.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2011 15:47 IST
Surojit Ghosh Hazra

"Babu, haat jure pronam koro shobai ke (Babu, fold your hands and greet the people)" were the first words from Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to his son Abhijit Mukherjee as they started off in an open jeep from Nalhati station.

All through the road show, Mukherjee played the double roles of a caring and dutiful father and and veteran Congress leader. Mukherjee guided his son to smile, greet and cheer supporter and voters while he himself kept waving at the crowd.

Clad in a white and black striped panjabi and sporting Rayban sunglasses and a party cap, Abhijit played the role of the obedient student to perfection, listening in rapt attention to his father.

"I have given some tips to Babu (Abhijit). I have advised him to maintain good public relations with common people, to act gently with them and to follow the political agenda."

The father and son took part two road shows on Tuesday - one at Nalhati and the other on Kurumgram village. Abhijit Mukherjee's wife, Chitralekha, also joined both rallies.

Thousands of party supporters and leaders had converged at Nalhati to support one of the most important Congress candidates in the state.

Everywhere one looked, there were placards, festoons, banners, caps and badges with the Congress symbol. After a long time, the party had an opportunity to display its strength against the Left Front.

Pranab Mukherjee didn't seem to mind the the scorching heat of Birbhum. He said that in his student days he had had to walk for more than 5 km just to reach his college.

The people too responded wholeheartedly.

Tapasi Ghosh, a mid-aged government employee from Bolpur, was waiting in front of the ticket counter of Nalhati railway station to catch a glimpse of the Union finance minister and participate in his son's road show.

However, Ghosh is not a voter from Nalhati assembly seat. Biswajit Das, an unemployed youth of Rampurhat, was also in the crowd at Nalhati during Mukherjees' rally.

Hundreds more had spilled onto the road. The show also included people from outside, who wanted to show support for the father-son duo.

A few hundred Trinamool Congress supporters were also in the rally, as it slowly winded its way in the semi-urban and rural areas.

"I may not be able to come here before the election because of my preoccupation and therefore I extend my Durga Puja greetings to you in advance," said Mukherjee senior, who left for Murshidabad.