Singer and songwriter Kabir Suman wants dramatist Bratya Basu to be the education minister if Trinamool Congress comes to power in Bengal.
"Bratya fits the bill best in the party," the Trinamool MP from Jadavpur said. "He (Basu) is a teacher. He is young and knows the education system. Politics is not his bread and butter. So, who better than him to be an education minister?"
It's a freewheeling chat with the Hindustan Times. Someone in the room quickly butts in saying education is among the portfolios Didi had said she would keep with herself. Suman is nonchalant. "I know this might not go down well with many, but then I have never been a party man. I was always an anarchist...I still am."
The star campaigner of the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, whose public criticism of many party biggies, including Mamata Banerjee, in the past two years has made him a persona non grata of sorts in the ranks says he has no idea why the Trinamool did not call him for campaigning this time. "I have never had a confrontation with Banerjee. I salute her. But after coming to power, if she turns into an autocrat, I will be the first to criticise her," said Suman, who has campaigned for Basu on own accord.
That, he adds for good measure, is the eternal anarchist in him. A cautious Basu warns that Suman's words should not be taken out of context. "Suman-da is a great man. And contradiction is a virtue of the greats," said the Trinamool candidate from Dum Dum.
But Suman pulls no punches while speaking on his peers - the band of artistes, poets and performers - campaigning for Trinamool. "They are cowards. They thought Mamata would be angry if they stand by me. So they all chickened out."
Cold shoulder from the party has not made him abandon his stand on Maoists, which has often served lobbers to the CPI(M). "I dedicated my book to Kishenji. So what? I refuse to vilify some people who sacrifice their lives for their cause."
Will he be back for a second round at the Lok Sabha? "Certainly not," Suman winks. "Once was enough."