Staff Correspondent

BHOPAL: Many top Urdu poets assembled at the imposing Iqbal Maidan in the State Capital on Saturday night to participate in an all-India Mushaira especially organised to celebrate the Congress President Sonia Gandhi's record victory in the Rae Bareli election.

The Mushaira was held at the initiative of the former State Minister, Ajay Singh and local Congress leader, Akbar Khan. Mr. Singh is the son of the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Arjun Singh. Mr. Khan had earlier contested the Assembly election against senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sunderlal Patwa.

The Mushaira picked its tempo with many poets praising Ms. Gandhi's sacrifices. Many of them also went on to acknowledge "her commitment to the larger cause of the people." One of the poets could at once strike a chord with the audience as he mentioned Gujarat. There was applause when a poet said "we all live in the same neighbourhood then why is only one house targeted and set on fire." Another poet was instantly popular. Reciting a verse, he said: "why my tears do not bring tears to your eyes?"

The Mushaira was presided over by veteran poet, Akhtar Said Khan and anchored by Mansoor Usmani. Prominent among those who participated included Wasim Bareilwi, Shahid Mir, Mansoor Usmani, Jauhar Kanpuri, Sabeena Adeeb, Iqbal Bedar, Haq Kanpuri, Suman Dubey, Vijay Tiwari, Ganai Khan Gani, and Anjum Barabankawi.