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Patna Diary

Politicians land fliers in trouble

The airport appears to be a “chaotic zone” whenever a VVIP comes. When chief minister Nitish Kumar returned to Patna after his China trip on Sunday, vehicles of his supporters were parked near the airstrip. But a senior police officer played down the issue citing worse situations during the Lalu era. Lalu’s supporters used to bring elephants and horses from Vaishali. They used to take them up to the runway. We used to plead with them to remove the animals before the planes landed,” he said, insisting that things were improving now. But the ordinary passengers differed because they are the ones who suffer the most when VVIPs arrive. Their supporters jam the exit gates. “The airport needs to improve further. The exit of elephants and horses is not enough. The supporters of politicians have to be thrown out also,” a passenger said.

Guessing game

The RJD leaders in Bihar are playing a guessing game on Lalu Prasad’s visit to Patna on July 5 — the foundation day of the RJD. Lalu did not turn up on June 5 - the anniversary of the JP’s agitation in Bihar — and his own birthday on June 11. Both these functions of the RJD turned out to be a low-key affair. A senior RJD leader pointed out that after the debacle in the Assembly elections, Lalu had come to Patna only thrice. “We can understand his resolve to keep silent for six months. But that does not mean he stops coming to Bihar. He just keeps giving statements from Delhi. Anyone wanting to meet him personally has to go to Delhi. That is a tall call for the ordinary party workers,” he said, airing his frustration. The RJD leaders are keeping their fingers crossed.

Pains of Paswan

Now that the RJD-LJP alliance appears to be heading towards a breaking point, politicians have started recalling how frequently the LJP chief, Ram Vilas Paswan, had changed sides. “His favourite words while switching from the NDA to Lalu before 2004 was he would prefer to get rid of the wound in the head (read the NDA government at the Centre) first and then wound in the leg (Lalu). The NDA government at the Centre lost. Then, Paswan went against Lalu because he was denied the railway ministry. He fulfilled his dream of curing the wound in the leg in 2005 by contesting independently,” a JD(U) leader said. Now that Paswan is moving towards the Congress, he will get his own wound of being defeated and without a berth in the Union ministry treated by the Congress, the JD(U) leader said.

Rain quote

The HRD minister, P.K. Shahi, found himself isolated n a rainy day. On usual days, a ost of well-wishers walk at the Sanjay Gandhi Biological ark with him. But on Sunday, e found nobody to offer im an umbrella when he was walking. A few who had umbrellas were using them for self-protection. “The minister must have realised that many of his friends would desert him in rainy days when the going gets tough,” a morning-walker said.
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