Agra: More than literature, it was politics that got highlighted at the concluding day of the Taj Literature Festival on Sunday with a tussle over Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as a prime ministerial candidate.
Author Shobha De targeted Modi for post-Godhra riots and ruled out his candidature for prime ministership. She said if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wanted to project him as its candidate for the top post, "Why don't they announce his name right now?"
BJP leader Vani Tripathi countered her, saying, "When the time comes, it will be done." Ad guru Prahlad Kakkar was more categorical. He not only supported Modi but said the youths of India want him. The big gathering did not support De, as no one appeared to agree with her. Other leaders did not fare well.
Photographer Raghu Rai termed Congress's new vice president Rahul Gandhi a "bhaiyya," while De said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was ok in parts, but appeared to have lost his political track. Kakkar said the country needed a strong dose of purgative to get rid of constipation.
Media persons tried hard to drag writers and celebrities into controversial politics, but they most carefully avoided making any critical political comments, perhaps learning from the fallout of Jaipur Festival.