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Anna meets his Didi and ‘good leader’

New Delhi, Feb. 18: Mamata Banerjee hosted social activist Anna Hazare to dinner tonight but it was the Congress-led government that got a mouthful from the Bengal chief minister for “bulldozing” the division of Andhra Pradesh.

“The (Telangana) bill was passed forcefully (in the Lok Sabha),” the Trinamul leader said before she met the septuagenarian anti-graft campaigner. “MPs had to enter the House like thieves and terrorists.… The government has gone into (a) coma. They used muscle power to pass the bill. The bill is illegal.”

Mamata said her party leaders would meet the President tomorrow and lodge a protest. Trinamul MPs, led by Mukul Roy, are scheduled to meet Pranab Mukherjee at noon.

“It is more than emergency. Parliament is being tortured…. Shameful, unethical. Where are the big leaders who talk too much?” Mamata said.

Mamata greeted Hazare by touching the activist’s feet as he arrived at the 181 South Avenue residence of party MP Roy. She served dinner to Hazare and also touched his feet when he left after an hour-long meeting.

“I respect Anna Hazareji a lot,” the chief minister later said.

Hazare, who called the chief minister “Didi”, described her as a “good leader”.

“She is a good leader and the country needs such leaders,” he said after the dinner meeting.

But he evaded an answer when asked if he would campaign for Trinamul in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Mamata and Hazare are scheduled to address a media conference tomorrow. Trinamul leaders said the activist would endorse Mamata as the best person suited for the Prime Minister’s post and even campaign for her.