Troublemaker image sticks to RJD
There was a recent clash between hostel boarders and residents of a locality where a former RJD MP lives. “You can expect hooliganism and vandalism at any place where an RJDwallah is nearby,” said an onlooker.
hief minister Nitish Kumar’s supporters are now playing on this remark. During the series of Adhikar Yatra meetings in the districts, Nitish had to face protests from contractual schoolteachers. Though the JD(U) has not issued an official statement, party leaders are whispering that the protests were being orchestrated by Lalu’s men. But RJD leaders demur. “It’s not fair,” claimed one of them. “Most leaders known for their highhandedness and vandalism have left the RJD. Some have even joined the JD(U). But they want people to remember our troublemaker image.”
Art of switching
Rural development minister Bhim Singh is fuming over the reported statement of RJD chief Lalu Prasad that he had committed a mistake by making him an MLC. “No one makes or unmakes a political career. Only opportunities are provided,” retorted the minister. “If Lalu gave me the opportunity of becoming an MLC, Nitish Kumar made me a minister.” Other politicians disagree. One of them said Singh was an original founder of Samata Party. But he quit it when Nitish did not make him an MLC. “After Lalu gave him an entry to the Legislative Council, Singh quit his seat mid-way and joined the JD(U), making the RJD loose a seat in the Upper House. This was a betrayal,” said an RJD MP. After RJD lost power in 2005, some leaders like Ramai Ram and Shyam Rajak left the party and joined the JD(U). “At that time, Lalu had joked that he would organise a farewell party for those leaving him. Why is he so bitter now?” replied a JD(U) leader.
SJD(U) is padding up for its rally at Gandhi Maidan on November 4, BJP leaders and workers feel left out. At chief minister Nitish Kumar’s janata durbar for NDA workers, one of them even pleaded with him that service of BJP workers be utilised to ensure the success of the rally. Nitish refused and stressed that though the two parties were allies, they had different political activities. “In a public meeting, Nitish said the 40 MPs of Bihar would be ignored during the formation of the next Union government. But he did not clarify if he meant that the 40 MPs will be of the NDA or just the JD(U),” said a worried BJP leader.
Waterlogging mars protest
Workers and leaders of the ruling coalition got a taste of the inefficiency of Patna Municipal Corporation in draining out water from different parts of the capital, days after a downpour. On September 20, BJP and JD(U) leaders, while courting arrest, asked policemen where they would be detained. Informed that they would be taken to a stadium at
ardanibagh, a BJP leader said: “The stadium is waterlogged. We shall have to spend a few hours standing in knee-deep water.” The prospect threw a wet blanket on the plans of the NDA leaders, many of whom preferred to retreat to their homes.