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Patna Diary

Change in counter-strategy

The RJD used to follow a tradition of presenting a counter report card the day chief minister Nitish Kumar presented his claims of achievements throughout a year in the form of a book. The counter-report in 2006 was a shabbily collected piece of jargons and statistics, printed clumsily. “But over the years things improved. In 2010, when Assembly polls were held, the report card issued by our party raised eyebrows in the political circles because of the professional manner in which it was printed. It looked like the work of an insider in the JD(U) and the government,” recalled a former RJD minister. owever, after the drubbing it received in the last Assembly elections, the RJD appears to have gone slow on the tradition of issuing its counter report card. Party chief Lalu Prasad dismissed the episode declaring that Nitish’s report card was a bunch of lies and the whole exercise was a waste of time. It took the RJD more than 48 hours to respond to the report card with a chargesheet. And this time, Lalu was not present on the occasion. “But Laluji is known to throw in the towel. During the last elections, there was a verbal duel in the form of couplets and poetry between Nitish and Lalu. After a few days, Laluji threw in the towel,” said a JD(U) legislator, merrily.

Club war

A popular club in Patna is turning out to be the centre of charges and counter-charges between two politicians — a Lok Sabha member and an MLA. Surprisingly, both the leaders represent the JD(U) and are frequent visitors to the club because of their common friends. The trouble is that while one was a big leader in the party, the other was known as “a nobody”. But in a turn of events, the big leader has become “a nobody” in the party because of his revolt against Nitish Kumar, while the other’s stature has risen. When the two meet, there’s an obvious exchange of cold words. “The MP says that small fries have taken over the JD(U), while the MLA says he has seen the so-called big leaders sleeping in the outhouse,” said an employee of the club.

Liquor flows

A dry day hardly bothers some. It did not seem to matter to police officers who had gathered at an upscale hotel recently for a wedding. “Liquor flowed freely in two rooms even as the chief minister was present, attending the reception. The hotel management felt helpless as other guests on the same floor complained about the rowdy behaviour by some inebriated persons,” said an employee of the hotel. Dry days, he said, are enforced more seriously during Nitish’s regime than Lalu’s days. But this was, perhaps, one exceptional day.

Knowledge of Shyam Rajak

Whenever JD(U) minister Shyam Rajak comes out in defence of the Nitish Kumar government, it never fails to draw jabs not only from RJD leaders but also those in the ruling party. When he attacked the RJD leaders for issuing a chargesheet against the Nitish government and alleged that the RJD believed in repeating a lie, a section of JD(U) leaders was amused. “Who knows the mode of RJD leaders better than Shyam? He himself used to repeat lies when he was in the RJD,” said a JD(U) MP. “JD(U) leaders admit that Rajak does a better job in retorts to RJD leaders. But it is difficult to forget that he was close to Laluji,” a JD(U) leader added.