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Patna Diary

JD(U) infighting

As elections approach, infighting within the ruling JD(U) is coming to the fore. That all is not well was evident during the district-level conferences organised in the past fortnight. It all started when a JD(U) national level leader was presiding over a meeting in one of the districts when members of rival factions started hurling abuses against one another. The situation turned ugly when words gave way to fisticuffs and senior leaders were forced to intervene to bring things to normal.

In another district, the problem started when detractors of one of the sitting JD(U) legislators grabbed the stage and started speaking against him. Some JD(U) leaders, who are ministers in the NDA government in Bihar, were not allowed to speak and they left the spot in a huff. What followed was even worse as the departure of ministers saw free hurling of plastic chairs by workers of rival factions. It would really be interesting to watch how things unfold when elections are announced and the party actually starts the process of finalising candidates.


Modi or no Modi

The arrest of Gujarat junior home minister Amit Shah, a close aide of Narendra Modi, has come as music to the ears not only for those opposed to the BJP. There are many in the Bihar BJP who appear to be happy after the recent developments. “But for the Narendra Modi factor, our coalition with the JD(U) was running very smoothly and now things again have swayed in favour of those who didn't want Narendra Modi to come to Bihar for campaigning in the Assembly polls,” said a BJP insider. Another source said now that Modi would be preoccupied with troubles in Gujarat, his attention would not be on Bihar and the coalition, which has managed to create a very good impression among all the communities, would be able to project itself in a better way.

Ego of cars

The clash of egos can actually result in a major traffic snarl, at least in Patna. Thursday morning saw two cars locking horns with each other at the busy street in the Gandhi Maidan area. The gentleman driving an Alto wanted to cut through the road and enter a lane while the other car was driving along the road stretch. They screeched to a stop and both cars frowned at each other. The Alto refused to back off and so did the other driver. Amid this, both of them forgot, or maybe did not care, about the honking of the other vehicles stuck behind them. For more than 15 minutes, the two egos clashed as they continued honking and cursing each other. An autorickshaw driver, who requested them to move, was made to shut up, courtesy the abuses. At last, it was a cop manning traffic at the other end who came to the scene and ordered one of them to move.
A final stare and it was over.

Don’t forgive or forget

It's not only politicians who always remember uncharitable remarks and deeds against each other. Police officials do not forget or even forgive. A retired IG-rank official was put in a panel of the state government and has been awarded a driver and car from the government. But the driver was from the police. The retired official had written an adverse remark against a senior police official. The senior police official came to know of it and withdrew the driver, making the retired police official immobile.

Hope in a tea cup

During the heydays of power, the kettle in the residence of Lalu Prasad used to burn non-stop making tea for the morning crowd coming to meet him. Virtually every visitor was offered water and lemon tea. One of the CAG reports during his era mentioned Rs 4.5 lakh spent in one financial year for the guests arriving at his house. But how times have changed. With government employees gone, tea and refreshments are offered to select guests. “One day when Saheb will come back to power, the tea will come back again,” said an optimistic RJD leader.
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