A minister with a difference!

It took 30 years for Puducherry Home Minister E Valsaraj to make into reality his "childhood dream" of holding an exhibition of his paintings.

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

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

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

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


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