Monday, 17 March 2008

Name the Indian politician you dislike the most
Mayawati 25% Amar Singh 22% Ram Vilas Paswan 16% Mamata Banerjee 15% Jayalalitha 11% Others 11%Riding the elephant, BSP supremo Mayawati might have been able to trample over her political opponents in Uttar Pradesh, yet she remains the most disliked of the leading politicians of the country. Controversies have always dogged this dalit leader. Her image also took a severe beating when she accepted cash and gifts on her birthday. Yet this “dalit queen” shows no signs of slowing down and is now on an aggressive campaign spree for the forthcoming assembly elections in Orissa. Mayawati’s political bete noire, Amar Singh, is in the same boat. Known as “Mr Fix-it” of Indian politics, the Samajwadi Party general secretary, who lunches with the Marxists, and dines with the BJP. In 2005, he hit the headlines in a telephone tapping row, where his alleged conversations with actresses and politicians were recorded. He had to move the court to stop the conversations from being published in the media. After V.P. Singh unleashed Mandal Commission in the country, Ram Vilas Paswan emerged as the main face of the nation's backward politics. In the mid 80s, he was the young messiah of the backwards, who won Lok Sabha polls consistently with record margins. Over time, not only has Paswan lost his charisma, he has also lost out in his home turf, Bihar. His image has also taken a severe beating and has managed to cling to power by constantly changing his political affiliations. There was a time when Mamata Banerjee, despite the reputation of being a termagant, came close to shaking the citadel of the Marxists, but like Paswan, her charisma has waned. Her whimsical ways and her politics, often bordering on petulance, have led to her losing ground in her home state and at the national level. It seems Jayalalitha’s brand of politics doesn’t have too many takers, especially outside Tamil Nadu. The arrogant Lady of Poes Garden has of late gone off the boil a bit but one can never rule her out. Over to her: “Nowadays most men are terrified of me. I don’t take nonsense from anyone nowadays. If someone gives me one blow, I will give 30…” No wonder she isn’t liked too much.

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