| A sea of supporters follow Lalu Prasad on Tuesday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Patna, Feb. 25: A usually cool Lalu Prasad lost his calm minutes ahead of a crucial meeting of the RJD at 10, Circular Road today.
Holding banners and posters, around 25 RJD workers from the districts gathered in front of the residence protesting against the reported denial of ticket for the Legislative Council elections. Elections for eight seats of the Legislative Council are scheduled for March 23.
This morning, Lalu had rushed to Patna from New Delhi to huddle into a meeting called by the RJD legislature party leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui. RJD MLAs by then had not arrived for the meeting.
Lalu was busy seeking suggestion from constitutional experts and advocates regarding the notification issued by Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary stating that 13 of the 22 MLAs have floated a separate group.
Around 10.45am, when he got the news that a few people were demanding council tickets and were protesting outside his official residence, he sent his personal assistant Bhola Yadav to ask the protesters to leave.
Bhola came out of the residence and said: “What are you people doing here? Don’t you know that the party is going through a difficult situation? You must stop this and return home immediately.”
One from the group replied: “We won’t leave until we meet Laluji. He had promised to give tickets to Raj Kishore Raj from Patna graduate constituency but we have heard that he is giving the ticket to another person. We will not tolerate this and he has to give ticket to our candidate.”
Hearing this, Bhola said: “Are you people in the party or not? Try to understand the situation. This is not the right place and the right time to protest. Laluji is not in a position to meet you. He is busy in some important work.”
He tried his best to convince the agitators but his effort went in vain.
The protesters were neither in a mood to listen, nor leave. Bhola then returned to Lalu’s residence.
The protesters, with smiles on their faces, started discussing that they did brave work by not listening to Lalu’s personal assistant.
Paliganj resident Lallan Prasad said: “Laluji has not done the right thing by denying ticket to our candidate. I understand that the party is going through a tough time but our demand cannot be neglected. It is equally important.”
Their discussion was not over yet, when Lalu literally rushed out of his house around 11.10am shouting: “Bhaagte ho ki nahi yaha se tumlog? Ticket chahiye, jaldi bhaago yaha se. (Get lost from here. You need ticket. Get lost)”
When the protesters started running in different directions, Lalu said: “I am busy in a crucial meeting and these fools have come for ticket. Just disappear from here.”
The thunder was saved for the last.
When a few protesters still hung around near his house, a stick near a motorbike caught the former chief minister’s eyes. He was about to pick it up but dropped the idea when he saw the media filming the entire episode.
However, an angry Lalu finally was able to hush away the protesters with his stern looks and demeanour.