New Delhi,Mar 13 (): Kejriwal has won round one as his mentor’s bid to enter the political arena turning out to be a dud. Mamata has sent out a message to other political parties that Anna as an ally or supporter is fickle-minded. The storming of Kejriwal’s home turf in the company of Anna by Mamata at the Ramlila ground went on to be a flop show.
Anna who arrived in the morning at Maharashtra Sadan, got the message that there were hardly any crowds by noon. He however left for the venue in Mamata’s convoy but suddenly he made a U-turn and went back.
Around 1000 people wearing ‘I am Anna’ cap were present. The rally clearly showed those who turned up at Anna’s rally for Jan Lokpal has shifted en-bloc to Kejriwal. Anna’s aides Kiran Bedi and Gen V K Singh are also said to have told that his being seen on stage with Mamata would be seen as backing TMC and its corruption like the chit fund scam. They also said that Anna’s rally in Delhi was jam-packed and it would be a loss of face if he addressed a few thousands. The organizers bungled by organizing it at Ramlila grounds whose capacity is big and also on a weekday. TV cameras showed empty seats at the rally venue.
In contrast, Kejriwal in Mumbai, 200 kms from Anna’s Ralegoan Siddhi near Pune created a storm. Crowds mobbed him and Churchgate station was overflowing. Metal detectors collapsed. Later industrialists and many bigwigs met Kejriwal in a closed-door meeting. News channels found Kejriwal in Mumbai a better viewing than Anna in Delhi.
Anna’s flip-flop was hinted by Mamata in her speech. The rally venue was chosen by Hazare’s aides and TMC funded it and crowd management was left to Hazare’s team. They took it for granted that all or part of the AAP members would turn up as Anna is taking part. Students who are busy with exams had no time. AAP workers got the message that TMC was using Anna to break into Delhi.
Kejriwal made a tactical move by being away from Delhi. Four hours after the scheduled time Mamata spoke. She had a point when she said that if TMC had organized it , she would have got train loads of men coming into Delhi and thereby implying that Anna is no more a draw. Kejriwal has clearly outwitted his mentor.