(Anna Hazare: “I sent 17 points to every political party….. Nobody responded. Only West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee sent a reply. We need such people.”)
“What else can you expect?” said a political-cum-psychological analyst. He continued, “If you take immense pains to put down as many as 17 points and then send them to every political party, presumably including the Bodoland People’s Front and the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam, you have a right to be miffed if they don’t reply.
And if one of them does reply finally, obviously you will be terribly grateful to her. It’s as simple as that and explains why Anna Hazare has decided to back Didi for prime minister.”
Given Hazare’s saintly status, other political parties are kicking themselves. “If only we had responded first,” sobbed an alleged AAP supporter, “we could have got Annaji’s endorsement.” He said they delayed replying because they had to have a referendum on whether to send it by courier or registered post.
A Congress worker said, “We will tell Anna that Rahul too is a simple guy who often wears chappals and can therefore be prime minister.” A chap from the Kongu Nadu Jananayaga Katchi outlined his party’s strategy of congratulating Anna on his dhoti. “Since nobody else has complimented Annaji’s dress sense, he’s bound to endorse our leader, whose name I have temporarily forgotten, for PM,” he claimed.
Not everybody has such a cynical view. A guy who said he was an Anna aide claimed his boss had for long been a Mamata fan, right from the time she danced on Jayaprakash Narayan’s car. “Later, when she threw files at the Parliament Speaker and grabbed Amar Singh by the collar, Anna couldn’t contain his excitement.
By the time she had flung a shawl at Ram Vilas Paswan and threatened to hang herself, he was completely in awe of her,” claimed the shady guy. A bystander interjected that Anna was also a bit envious of Mamata. “I think he was very dejected when Shah Rukh Khan kissed the top of Mamata’s head,” he said, adding sadly that no celebrity, not even Kejriwal, had ever affectionately kissed Anna on the head.
The Mamata camp, however, was more circumspect. A lumpen claiming to be with Trinamool explained shyly, “When the letter first came we thought it had come from Amma— Jayalalithaa, you know — and we were overjoyed because we thought she wanted to join Didi’s federal front. But she denied having sent any letter.
So we looked at it again and found it was not from Amma but from Anna. We initially thought it was a Maoist plot.” He said they then remembered Anna’s exploits at the Ramlila grounds.
“We are really proud to have such a world-class serial faster on our side,” he continued, adding that Didi had learnt a lot about fasting from him. “Did he really flog tipplers in his village?” asked another gangster admiringly, adding that he would love to flog Marxists.
Many voters are eager to see Mamata as PM. “I would love to see a Trinamool-Rashtriya Lok Dal-AAP government at the Centre with Lagadapati Rajagopal as the Speaker. I can’t wait to see AAP and Trinamool MPs sitting in dharna inside Parliament, with TMC MPs tearing up their own Bills, the RLD guys taking off their shirts and Lagadapati pepper spraying all of them” said an enthusiastic supporter.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint
Views expressed by the author are personal