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   Mr. Murli Deora is right when he says that it is not the fault of the Congress... (May 12, 1985)

Mr. Murli Deora is right when he says that it is not the fault of the Congress if it can muster lakhs of people for its session when the other parties cannot muster more than a few thousand.

I remember a Janata session some years ago. The venue was at Bhavan's College Andheri, not because they did not want to inconvenience the citizens by occupying the rececourse and the Braboume Stadium, but because that was all the space they required.

The main session was held in the school hall, the working committee meeting in the classrooms.

Mr. Chandra Shekhar was the main attraction of the session, as Mr. Rajiv Gandhi will be of the present session, but though Mr. Shekhar may have been a Young Turk in his days and may have once walked all the way from Kanyakumari, to Delhi, not many people would bother to go to Andheri to see him.

Mr. Moraji Desai first decided not to attention the session, them said he would, then again decide against, then again decided against, then finally did. He addressed the session and criticised everybody as is his practice.

Mr. Devraj Urs was the other great attraction. I remember interviewing him in a classroom, sitting at a desk with my pen and paper, Mr. Urs sitting at another desk, puffing on a pipe.

Mr. Bahuguna had his own party's convention (I forget what the name of the party was at that time) at the Bandra reclamation. Except for a few photographs in the newspapers, not many citizens in Bombay were aware that a session of a national political party was on. The session adopted several important national and international resolutions.

Several years ago, the BJP held a session at the Cuffe Parade reclamation before all the building activity started there. That was an impressive convention, with thousands of delegates. But then everything the BJP does it impressive, secondly only to the Congress.

At the end of the session, the BJP organised a public meeting at Chowpatty, and the delegates marched in procession from Cuffe parade to Chowpaty via Kalbadevi and Opera House. It took 45 minutes from the head of the procession to the tail for it to pass a single spot. I know because I time it.

However, there is one common aspect among all the different sessions. The people attending them are all the same in looks talk, behaviour. Scratch one of the delegates and you will find a politician underneath.

 
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