A minister with a difference!
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Last Updated: Wednesday, September 15, 2010, 23:16
New Delhi: It took 30 years for Puducherry Home Minister E Valsaraj to make into reality his "childhood dream" of holding an exhibition of his paintings.

Valsaraj was a happy man today as he held his first exhibition in the national capital where he received kudos from none other than his boss and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

The six-day exhibition 'Images of Eternity' that gives a glimpse into life in South India was inaugurated by Vice President Hamid Ansari in the presence of Gandhi.

Ansari and Sonia were so excited after seeing Valsaraj's paintings that they spent over 25 minutes at the Lalit Kala Akademi.

One of Valsaraj's paintings included a portrait on Gandhi herself with a garland around her head.

While Gandhi did not give any comments, Ansari wrote in the visitor's book that this was an "unusual exhibition."

"Painting nature is like holding a mirror to nature with all its colour and vibrance," he wrote.

A five-time MLA from Mahe in the Union Territory of Puducherry and a Minister in the successive Congress governments for the past 12 years, 55-year-old Valsaraj says he always allotted time to do some paintings.

"I am extremely happy today because my childhood dream came true. I am blessed to have Vice President Ansari and Madam Gandhi to inaugurate the exhibition," he said.

"Madam was happy after seeing the paintings. She wished me luck...," he said.

"I had the passion to paint from my childhood. Later, I studied Fine Arts because of my passion, but fate had other plans as I joined politics," he said.

Asked whether the heavy work-load did not affect him, he says with a smile on his face: "Its all about how you to decide and allot time. I had the passion and I had the time to paint."

He says his love for painting never hampered his regular schedule of a Minister.

The exhibition, which will be on till September 20, will display paintings in acrylics, oil and water colours.

Outside the venue, there was utter chaos as Delhi Police personnel stopped VVIPs, including Union Ministers Government Secretaries, saying they were late.

Union Ministers Kumari Selja, Panabakka Lakshmi, Planning Commission Member-Secretary Sudha Pillai, Congress leader Motilal Vohra and Culture Secretary Jawhar Sircar had to virtually fight with the security personnel to allow them inside the venue.

People and media personnel with invitations were also not allowed by the security personnel, who said they had come late.


First Published: Wednesday, September 15, 2010, 23:16

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