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When Bansi Lal made Raj Kapoor furious

Haryana :- Bansi Lal was the third Chief Minister of Haryana. He was a close friend of former Union Minister and senior Congress leader L N Mishra. On the suggestion of Mishra, legendary actor and filmmaker Raj Kapoor once went to meet Lal, who was then serving as the chief minister of Haryana.
Author Anil Maheshwari in his book, Compulsive Nose-Picking And Other True Tales, has come out with several anecdotes from the Indian politics, as well as the political actors. Maheshwari writes in the book that Mishra had several connections in the Bollywood.
“L.N. Mishra, former Union minister of railways, was renowned for his Bollywood connections. Once, he introduced the iconic Raj Kapoor to Bansi Lal, the chief minister of Haryana in the 1980s,” writes Maheshwari in the book.
Bansi Lal had been the chief minister of Haryana on a number of occasions, as he and Bhajan Lal alternated to take the post in the 1980s when the political instability gripped the state. Bansi Lal is credited for overseeing the industrialisation of Faridabad where a number of industries set up their bases.
“When Kapoor formally met Bansi Lal, the chief minister offered Raj Kapoor a choice of any plot of land for purchase in the upcoming Faridabad industrial belt. Faridabad then witnessed rapid industrialisation, with a steep demand for land. Bansi Lal extended this generous offer out of goodwill for a friend of Mishra’s and didn’t even ask the actor about the purpose of his visit,” wrote Maheshwari in his book.
Maheshwari is a senior journalist who covered the Indian politics and elections for several years. He has authored a number of books.
“For Kapoor, it was merely a courtesy call to the chief minister as he was visiting the state. However, the offer of industrial land left Kapoor flummoxed. He promptly surmised that the chief minister didn’t know who he was and must have mistaken him for an industrialist,” further wrote Maheshwari in the book.
Feeling humiliated, Kapoor complained to Mishra, who called up Bansi Lal, added the author in the book. “Mishra explained that Kapoor had come for a courtesy meeting and not for a favour. Bansi Lal claimed innocence, saying, ‘Arrey, I thought some Punjabi Kapoor has come to see me for a favour,” wrote Maheshwari further.
The chief minister is quoted by the author further saying, “I am besieged by requests like this all the time, and as he is your friend, I thought he had come for the same reason.”
Maheshwari writes that Mishra was shocked at Bansi Lal’s clarification. He writes: “Mishra asked (Bansi) Lal when he had last seen a Hindi movie, to which Lal meekly replied, ‘I think that happened way back in 1952!”
Maheshwari has given several accounts from the Indian politics to reveal the lighter sides of the politics in his book.
Ashok Malik, former press secretary to the President, in his foreword to the book, wrote: “This book is a dedication to ordinary and everyday stories about common and everyday Indians – charming, telling and wistful vignettes of everyday life and uncommon reflections in our country.”\