Wednesday , November 3 , 2010
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Since 1st March, 1999
> Patna Diary
Out of power, out of favour
When chief minister Nitish Kumar called RJD chief Lalu Prasad a habitual law-breaker, a few leaders of his party partially agreed. They said their boss did flout norms while voting in the past. senior RJD leader recalled that even on previous occasions the security guards of Lalu and his wife, Rabri Devi, used to enter the polling booth with securitymen to ward off camerapersons trying to freeze the duo clicking the button. “But on previous occasions, case was not registered against them because they were in power. Even during the last Lok Sabha polls he was a railway minister. On this occasion, a case was registered because Lalu is not in power,” said a senior RJD leader. Lalu is now blaming the policemen deputed at the polling booth for not stopping his bodyguards.
Subhash finds new home
Subhash Yadav, a former MP and brother-in-law of Lalu Parasad, has found himself a new home at Vikram, on the outskirts of Patna. Finding no place in the Congress or any other party after ditching the RJD, Subhash is contesting Assembly polls from Vikram constituency. “It does not matter if I win or loose I will remain with you. Vikram for me is like Patna,” he is telling voters while campaigning. The RJD leaders, who have been at the receiving end during the heydays of Lalu-Rabri, appear to be amused. “Subhash got his wife to contest from an Assembly seat in Gopalganj in 2005. She almost lost her deposit and stood fourth. It is natural for a heart-broken Subhash to search for a new home,” said a former MP of he RJD.
Bid to woo teachers
The two allies - Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan - have taken a U-turn on newly appointed teachers. Previously, the duo used to take regular digs at them, saying they were semi-literates. Halfway through the campaigning, Paswan and Lalu have started fighting for their cause. “Teachers should get a salary of Rs 18,000 a month, Nitish Kumar is giving them only Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000 per month. If we come to power we will give you regular jobs,” said Paswan at an election meeting. “It appears that both Lalu and Paswan have realised that the newly appointed teachers can play a big role in both polling booths and influencing the voters,” said a senior JD (U) leader. Teachers have been a pampered lot because of their role in the election process.
After the fourth phase of polling, the campaigning through mobile phones and TV channels appears to have intensified. Don’t be surprised if you receive a call on your mobile phone from Nitish Kumar. “Five years ago, you had given me a mandate to enforce the rule of law, better health, roads.... You have to decide if you want the progress to continue or go back to the 15 years of anarchy,” says the voice of the Bihar chief minister. The Congress and the RJD have are taking digs at Nitish Kumar's claim for good governance on TV. The advertisement of the Congress has been dubbed in Maithili. “We have crossed the Maithili-speaking areas. Elections will now be held in Bhojpuri and Magahi-speaking zones. The advertisements should be in these languages,” said a senior Congress leader.
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