Is it an idol (sic)? Is it a statue? Is it a mannequin?

Former Karnataka deputy chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa performs the Great Indian Hope Trick in front of the Raj Bhavan in Bangalore on Monday after “the worst betrayal ever”, even as his public-pal, private-rival Ananth Kumar‘s hand is delicately poised on the chair. Bang behind Yediyurappa, in the white shirt, is M.P. Renukacharya, the Davanagere Honalli MLA embroiled in l’affaire nurse Jayalakshmi.

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Political photography, like all photography, is about timing. But good photography is no longer easy on the chaotic Indian political landscape where hundreds of (”still”) photographers and (”video”) cameramen now jostle and slug each other out for a slice of the pie.

This picture by Manjunath M.S. of Karnataka Photo News is a very fine exception.

In one frame, as it were, the picture captures everything about Indian politics: the ambition of its leaders, the betrayal by partners, the sniping, backstabbing and backbiting, and of course, the colour, chaos and sleaze. And, of course, there is an arresting image to boot. Watch how Yediyurappa hangs on to the policeman’s topi for support.