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Freedom, finally

RJD chief Lalu Prasad breaks the auspicious coconut at the Deori temple in Tamar, 60km from Ranchi, on Monday afternoon, a little over an hour after his release (below) from Birsa Munda Central Jail, Hotwar. Son Tejaswi (in white kurta) and other supporters flanked Lalu, who sparkled with wit after thanking divine powers for his release. Sounding confident after over two months, the RJD chief told the media that he would launch a war against communal forces and the “NaMo wave” before Lok Sabha polls. Quipping that Lalu would be finished only when aloo would meet a similar fate in the country, the RJD chief promised his own political longevity would rival that of the ever-popular potato. And what of the jail stint? Though stripped of his MP tag and embroiled in six fodder scam cases, an undaunted Lalu said only “lucky people” had gone to jail and drew inspiration from Lord Krishna’s birth inside prison. The media lapped up the comeback of quote-a-minute Lalu. But now, the man himself knows it’s time to work. Lalu will reach Patna on Tuesday. (Prashant Mitra)