Excerpts from the secretly recorded communication between the Trinamool Congress ministers, who resigned from the ministry today, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (MMS). We don’t vouch for its veracity though. Warning: It could be some mischief monger’s handiwork.
TMC ministers: Hello Manmohanji, we are here to resign.
MMS: Really, but who are you? I haven’t ever seen you around.
TMC ministers: Sir, we are members of Parliament and ministers in your government.
MMS: Hmm…sorry, which party?
TMC ministers: Sir, we belong to the Trinamool Congress. That’s Mamata Banerjee’s party.
MMS: Oh, I see. But where’s she? She is not responding to my SMSes these days?
TMC ministers: Sir, she is upset.
MMS: Upset about what? I would be worried if she not upset about something or the other all the time.
TMC ministers: She is worried about diesel price hike and the FDI business.
MMS: She is upset. How come you guys are resigning? What difference does that make?
TMC ministers: Sir, we take offence. We were members in your council of ministers.
MMS: Really. How come I never met you before? Did you ever come to office?
TMC ministers: Errr…We worked from home, West Bengal.
MMS pulls out some papers and runs through them. “I see,” he says, “One of you is Mukul Roy, the guy who is supposed to be running the railways. Where is he?”
Mukul Roy: I am the one. I am Didi’s favourite and manage her affairs.
MMS: What about the railways? Did you manage it at all? What happened to Dinesh Trivedi? I thought he was still the railway minister. Sorry. The PMO guys just don’t keep me in the loop.
Mukul Roy: I take offence. (phone rings) Didi.. Yes, Didi… No, Didi.. Yes, Didi… I am with him. He is asking where’s Dinesh Trivedi?..Piece of my mind…? As you wish Didi. I will give a big piece.
MMS: Was it Mamata? I don’t understand her. She always misunderstands my silence, even during my phone calls. But sometimes silence is better than a thousand words.
Mukul Roy: We are resigning from the ministry and withdrawing support from the UPA. And that’s final. No further negotiation is possible.
MMS: Who is negotiating with you? And when were you ever part of the UPA? So far as I remember you belonged to the opposition.
TMC ministers in unison: Sir, you are insulting us. How can you say that? Without our 19 members you won’t be sitting here, talking to us. We got Pranabda elected President.
MMS: Thanks. Let’s forget Pranabda. But I hear Sensex has gone up 450 points after you decided to quit. Now that you have quit, I am sure it would go up higher.
TMC ministers: Now, that’s not fair. We did not pull Sensex down. Didi is not even aware of what Sensex is. Her fight is for Ma, Mati and Manush…
MMS: (gets impatient) Yes, yes. But what are you going to do now? You will be jobless.
TMC ministers: Don’t add insult to injury, Manmohanji. You are the man responsible for this. Had you not insisted on FDI and diesel price hike, we would still be ministers.
MMS: Still be ministers? Doing what?
TMC ministers: Don’t ask. Work, of course. Ministerial responsibility. But we can ask you the same question too. What were you doing the last eight years? People say you were snoozing while the country was being plundered by people you know.
MMS: Now, that’s harsh. Let’s not get personal. (phone rings) Yes Madam…No Madam…Yes Madam..Definitely Madam..piece of my mind. Don’t worry, I still have one. I need to take you out of the freezer…Thank you Madam.
TMC ministers: Was it Sonia Gandhi? Is she willing to change the decision on FDI and diesel.
MMS: Who else? Do you think I was talking to your Didi? And how does it matter to you? See I had enough of your nonsense. There won’t be any rollback of anything. Even I am not going to roll back the new me.
TMC ministers: (sounds of muffled giggling and some more of it).
MMS: Now, I don’t like that. I can giggle at your plight too. Please give me some peace.
TMC ministers: Why should we give you peace? Is it our responsibility anymore?
MMS: Was it ever? Enough. How are you going back to West Bengal and how soon? You want me book the earliest flight for you? I doubt whether the trains are running at all. Thanks to you for that, Mukul.
TMC ministers: No thanks. We will manage on our own.