Sunday, April 5, 2009

VOTE BANKS AND MOTHERS' WARS

A war of words has broken out between UP CM Mayawati and Maneka Gandhi over Mayawati's unexpected decision to put Varun Gandhi behind the bars under the NSA. Maneka Gandhi, stung at being denied a meeting with her son currently in Etah jail, started this war to which Mayawati responded with her characteristic aggression. This is now snowballing into a typical "tu-tu main-main" slugfest that has turned the election scene in UP into a family drama, a war of mothers, as it were. This is a first in India's political history and promises to get nastier in the coming days.

As luck would have it, Mayawati and Maneka came face to face in Rae Bareilly where both had gone to canvass for votes. Not surprisingly, the moment they met, they started to take pot shots at each other. When Sonia Gandhi, who also camping in the area, came to know that the two "Mas", Ma-neka and Ma-yawati had gotten together for a motherly chat, she hurried to the spot to find out what was cooking between her two political opponents. This is how this imaginary "war" between the three mothers went:

Maneka: How can you know what the pain of a mother is?

Mayawati: You are crying about just one kid?

Maneka: Yes, I am. For my good son Varun Gandhi.

Mayawati: Ha! I cry for crores of sons. You can never know how painful it is to be mother to so many kids.

Maneka: You think you are Bharat Mata or something?

Mayawati: Heard of Mother Teresa?

Maneka: She was a saint who selflessly served the poor.

Mayawati: What do you you think I am doing?

Maneka: You are thoroughly corrupt.

Mayawati: You are jealous. My crores have all being made by contributions of the grateful poor who were moved by my poverty.

Maneka: You even get people killed for money.

Mayawati: If the corrupt and rich, like that engineer, are not moved like the poor are to help me financially, then how can you blame my well wishers for trying to "move" them?

Maneka: By murdering them?

Mayawati: My people did not murder him; he died of "shock".

Maneka: Like you are going to after the election results come out.

Mayawati: It is you who is going to get shocked. Why do you think I slapped NSA on Varun? You think I am a fool to let him walk away my hard-earned upper caste vote bank?

Maneka: You are a horrible woman.

Mayawati: Looks like not only have you not imparted good "sanskars"(values) to that son of yours but you haven't any yourself. If you don't shut up, then you too will face the NSA of Mayawati.

Maneka: You should be ashamed of yourself.

Mayawati: You should be ashamed of your son.

Maneka: You are the one who has spread the "hate" culture in UP; you should be the one who should behind bars, not my brave son.

Mayawati: Don't make baseless allegations. I am for the benefit of "sarvjan", all citizens.

Maneka: Forgotten that war cry "Tilak tarazu aur talwar, inko maaro jootey chaar?" (Beat brahmins, kshatriyas and vaishyas with shoes)

Mayawati: What is wrong with that? Some of my supporters rightly feel that upper caste people need to be thrashed for discriminating against dalits.

Maneka: Varun felt the same way about Muslims who are threatening Hindus in Pilibhit. But he is behind bars and, of all the people, you have put him there!

Mayawati: I am so happy he said that he will cut the hand that is raised against Hindus. Now that I have put him in jail, Muslims will come running to me, deserting Mulayam Yadav, that horrible man I can never forgive.

Maneka: So you are giving me pain only to get Muslim votes?

Mayawati: Can I beat Mulayam Yadav and become PM without his Muslim vote bank?

Maneka: But this is gross misuse of NSA.

Mayawati: Says who? I am the CM here, not you.

Maneka: You have no scruples.

Mayawati: You better mind your acidic tongue or I will not let you meet your son at all.

Sonia Gandhi reaches the spot and is worried on hearing Mayawati's threats.

Sonia : Rahul's caravan has started moving at long last. It is not going to pass through UP, so please don't touch him.

Mayawati: I don't touch people who can't move even a twig with their speeches.

Sonia: He's not so bad now. He has now learnt how to move Congress workers at least. In due course, he will make people also move to him.

Mayawati: Or move away from him...

Sonia: I hope you will not use NSA against Rahul for spending nights in dalit homes with his foreign friends. It is good for tourism you know.

Mayawati: Not till he keeps having a bath with a special soap to cleanse himself after such condescending, maharaja-type visits.

Sonia: Thank God. I was about to ask him to stay away from dalits completely to avoid Varun's fate.

Mayawati: I am glad you have given him good "sanskars". He does exactly what helps and pleases Mayawati. But for him and the Congress party, I would never have become the CM.

Sonia: Do we have a choice of "sanskars", whatever that means? We cannot afford to antagonise you or Mulayam or Laloo or Paswan or Karat or Karunanidhi or Jayalalitha or Nitish or Raj Thakre or...actually anyone other than the BJP and Shiv Sena.

Mayawati: Everyone knows how "strong" you are.

Sonia: The Congress party is a national party with a glorious history.

Mayawati: And no future.

Sonia: Don't say that. Please. It hurts. We are confident of coming back to power on our own.

Mayawati: Really? Look, I don't care whether anyone is from the Gandhi family or a raja or maharaja. If you or your son threaten my vote bank in any manner, I will put you both behind bars.

Sonia: I know, I know. We will keep our mouths firmly shut in UP. In any case there is little to open them for in this state.

Mayawati: Thank God you have seen the real picture at last with your own eyes.

Sonia: I will go to Gujarat and call Modi "maut ka saudagar" (merchant of death). At least he will not send me to jail under the NSA.

Mayawati: Now you are talking sense.

Sonia: I am going to need your sisterly help to get back to power after the elections.

Mayawati: I really can't believe that you are that dumb.

Sonia: What do you mean?

Mayawati: Do you think I have put poor Varun in jail just to see you back in power?

Sonia: Then?

Mayawati: Get this straight. I will expect you to support me to become the PM.

Sonia: This is preposterous. How can you even think of being PM with just 30-40 MPs?

Mayawati: Don't forget that Rae Bareilly and Amethi are in UP.

Sonia: So?

Mayawati: Do you know how easy it is for me to get some people to throw stones at the police when you and Rahul are around? That will be enough for me to book you both under the NSA for attempt to murder.

Sonia: You can't do that to me or Rahul baba.

Mayawati: Not only will I do that, I will ensure that jail rules are followed strictly.

Sonia: What rules?

Mayawati: You will be allowed visitors only twice a week.

Sonia: No problem.

Mayawati: And you will have to eat jail food.

Sonia: No! No! I may have become an Indian citizen but I can't stand Indian food.

Mayawati: The choice before you is clear: support me as PM or face NSA.

Sonia: Of course Behen Mayawati ji, cool down. I will make sure you are our next PM. I am all for empowerment of women.

Mayawati: Now you are seeing the logic. If only that engineer had seen it in time...

Maneka: (aside to Mayawati) Don't trust Sonia. She will get you thrown you out without warning. That is what she did to me.

Mayawati: (aside to Maneka) Do you think I don't know that? After I become PM, I will put her and her son in jail and takeover the Congress party!

Maneka: (under her breath)You are worse than even my mother-in-law!

Mayawati: I think it is time for a grand Gandhi family reunion.

Maneka: I can never patch up with Sonia and Rahul; they are pretenders. My husband was the chosen heir.

Mayawati: I know what he was. Thank God I am a woman.

Maneka: Does it make a difference? You still haven't become a mother!

Mayawati: That is because of what your husband did during the Emergency to the guy I wanted to marry.

Sonia: See, had Sanjay not launched that vasectomy campaign, Mayawati might have been just another dalit voter standing with her son a in queue to vote for you or me. That one blunder has cost us the Gandhi family heavy.

Maneka: What about the genocide of Sikhs in 1984 that Rajiv Gandhi unleashed?

Mayawati: Quiet both of you. I can see that you have a lot to talk about.

Maneka, Sonia (in unison): Yes we do.

Mayawati: Don't worry, I will arrange a long, undisturbed meeting for all four of you. You can then say all that has been lying bottled up inside for decades.

Maneka: Where?

Mayawati: 7 Race Course Road, of course! (inaudibly) Etah jail it will be.

Sonia: When?

Mayawati: After May 16, when I become the PM!
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