Thursday, November 24, 2011

In which Mamata Banerjee gave it back to them

Trinamool Congress leader and Paschima Banga chief minister Mamata Banerjee was interviewed on CNN-IBN by Sagarika Ghose. Asked about hers being a one-'man' party and government, Mamata in her characteristic impish manner replied that the national and international media dare not ask such questions to Mayawati, Sonia Gandhi, and Jayalalitha. She countered as to why while speaking about Congress, only Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are mentioned. She said that there were 40 members in her cabinet, quietly ticking off the question on the one-man issue. Asked whether her relations with Congress were fine at the state and at the centre, she said that she had good relations with the Congress members of her cabinet and with the central leaders of the party. She said that Congress workers were weak in the state and they had a problem with her. The best part of the interview was when she explained why she went to the police station and allegedly free her party people in custody, she said that she went there to diffuse a sensitive communal situation on the even of Bakr-Id. She said there was no need for her to go personally to get people out of custody. As chief minister she could ring up the police station. And she said in a note of sincere passion, Ï will not let my Muslim brothers be killed." This was her Congress self at its best, and she puts to shame most Congress people who lack her sincerity about communal harmony. Many Congress leaders admire her secretly for this very reason -- she embodies the Congress code of communal harmony which is rarely practised by the Congress itself. Asked about the death of babies and the miserable state of hospitals, she asked as to why the media did not raise these questions when the Left was in power for 35 years. Mamata for all her faults showed herself to be a politician with a heart and also with a head on her shoulders.

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