Rajat Sharma

Politicians should learn austerity from Manik Sarkar

Aaj-ki-baat_frame_7993On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after attending the swearing-in ceremony of Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb in Agartala, went up to the former CM Manik Sarkar, seated between BJP stalwarts L. K. Advani and Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, shook hands with him and exchanged pleasantries. He then escorted Manik Sarkar to the steps of the dais, as the latter wanted to leave.

Manik Sarkar, known as India’s poorest chief minister, ruled the state for 25 years. There was no corruption charge against him, nor did he change his lifestyle. At the time of contesting elections this year, he had only Rs 2000 in his bank account, and the day the results were announced, he tendered his resignation to the Governor and vacated his official residence. Since he had no house of his own, Sarkar and his wife have been staying in a room inside their party office.

Manik Sarkar is a shining example of honesty and probity in Indian public life. He should be respected for his austere lifestyle. Other politicians should learn from him, because in most of the cases, when politicians lose elections, they refuse to vacate their official bungalows. Prime Minister Modi publicly accorded respect to Manik Sarkar and personally escorted him from the dais. This is another shining example of the greatness of our democracy.

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