Shastri's son, Encouraged Mamata Banerjee

During my school days, I had read about Lal Bahadur Shastri's life story and was inspired by his life. I had seen his life after he became Prime Minister. Born in a poor family, Shastri struggled a lot. He struggled to earn two meals a day. He used to walk for kilometers and cross a river to reach school. He was a role model for many of us. His honesty and modesty is a lesson to all of us. I did my best to help his children when I was AICC General Secretary. His son Anil Shastri worked with me as AICC Joint Secretary. His elder brother Sunil Shastri later deserted Congress.

I came across a committed and hardworking congress worker named Mamatha Banerjee. I mentored her for politics after seeing her dedication to public cause. Being a woman, making a career in public life is not easy, that too from West Bengal. I had seen her struggle. I supported her as much as I could. I had sent money from AICC when her father died. She left the Congress later. Once I had gone with Pranab Mukherjee to West Bengal to hold talks about forging an alliance with her party. She had told her representative who was organised the meeting that Janardhan Poojaryji had come for the meeting and you should treat him with respect. This was revealed by her representative after the meeting.

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