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Don inspired by Gandhigiri

Express News Service

Posted: Sep 29, 2006 at 1110 hrs IST

Call it the Munnabhai effect. Mafia don Babloo Srivastava, appearing for a hearing in a murder case, distributed red roses outside the CBI court in Lucknow to spread the “message of love and peace”.

Stating that he was reading a book on Mahatama Gandhi at present, Babloo said: “I am inspired by Gandhiji’s message of love and peace”. He added that he was inspired by the film, Lage Raho Munnabhai.

“The film shows that if a strong man who has reformed preaches about Gandhi’s message, people listen to him. I have also turned over a new leaf now, and hope to be able to spread the message of love and peace by doing what Munnabhai does in the film,’’ said the gangster.

He said he had shelved his earlier plans to contest the mayoral elections in Allahabad. Instead, he plans to float a new political party.

Babloo also announced plans to contest the coming Assembly elections, either from Allahabad North or Lucknow Central. “I will also field candiadtes from my own party in various areas, and will try for an alliance with other parties also,” he said.

Babloo was not the only one to be inspired by Munnabhai. More than 50 activists also hit the streets to distribute roses as part of their protest against a liquour shop outside a temple on Maharana Pratap Marg. In fact, today was the third time that the residents of the area distributed flowers. Last week, hundreds of youths, donning Gandhi caps, had marched to the collectorate and distributed flowers.

Today’s group, which included Roop Rekha Verma of Sajhi Duniya and a dozen of her co-workers, marched peacefully towards the office of ADM Janardan Barnawal. But the group could not meet Barnawal as he was out of office. So they left flowers at his office and outside his house.

"We will carry on with ‘Gandhigiri’ till our purpose is solved. Let us see how long the ADM avoids us," said a protestor.

When contacted, Barnawal said that he was unaware about the incident. ‘’I am not hesitating to meet them. It was just by chance that I was not in office,” he claimed.

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