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Kumar Sanu will "sing" for BJP

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, MARCH 16. It was an initiation ceremony with a difference when the well-known film playback singer, Kumar Sanu, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The BJP president, Venkaiah Naidu, introduced the tall, dark and handsome singer with a golden, melodious voice to a hall full of reporters and press photographers. The cameras clicked and bulbs flashed as Mr. Sanu proudly held up the new party membership form signed Mr. Naidu.

And then Mr. Naidu requested him to sing a song, and he readily obliged.

"O Atalji ko dekha to aisa laga jaise khilta kamal ... " (O, when I first saw Atalji it felt like I was looking at a full blown lotus ... ) his husky voice lilted across the room. And everyone instantaneously burst into laughter.

No, his voice had not faltered, he sang beautifully, but what he perhaps did not realise was that by substituting "ladki" (girl) in the original lyric with "Atalji," and "gulab" (rose) with "kamal" (lotus), the symbol of the BJP, the romantic lyric sounded grotesquely funny. And the result was laughter.

After this, Mr. Sanu declared that he would work for the party and campaign and sing for it during the elections.

The function was almost over when, suddenly, another young man came running in. He was Mohammed Shiraj Ansari, secretary-general of the `Indian non-Olympic Association,' reporters were told, as he was also enrolled as a member of the BJP. And since most of the scribes did not know what that was, the Union Law Minister, Arun Jaitley, explained: "It is an association of those who fail to qualify for the Olympics."

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