People forget (and lie) about all kinds of things all the time and our netas are no different. A little bit of cash under the mattress, bars of gold in the barn and couple of crores in Swiss banks - these things are forgotten often, especially when the income tax sleuths are at the door. But, even by our standards, what Mangnilal Mandal managed to do was phenomenal. Mandal, a Janata Dal(U) MP from Bihar claimed in court recently that he did not remember how many wives he had! It seems he also suffered from selective amnesia when he had filed his nomination papers: one wife and a large quantity of assets were quietly tucked away somewhere. However, when it came to voting, he remembered a little too sharply: Mandal is accused of voting from two different Lok Sabha constituencies with different wives in the same election. For his tremendous commitment and passion to the cause of this democracy, the Election Commission must use Mandal as a model voter.
But, as you know, the world is an unkind place. A political worker, who probably knew 'Bhabhi No. 1' before he chanced upon 'Bhabhi No. 2's' existence saw something amiss and lodged a case against Mandal. And that is when the MP faced that nagging question: how many wives do you have?
While the world will now be accusing Mandal of lying in court, presenting false data to the poll panel and lying to the voters, the neta is actually not as big a liar as he is being made out to be. Under the glare of the media and the judges, he just could not think of a more convincing lie. A contrast to many of our netas to whom lying comes so much easier than telling the truth. But then that is the lie of the land.