| Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary and RJD chief Lalu Prasad at an iftar party at 10 Circular Road in Patna on Saturday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Patna, July 26: Lalu Prasadís iftar this evening turned out to be a great leveller even in the crucial times of forming alliance with the JDU and Congress to stop the BJP juggernaut in the state.
Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary, ministers Shyam Rajak, Sharvan Kumar, Awadhesh Narayan Kushwaha, Baidyanath Sahni, Rajya Sabha MP Gulam Rasool Baliyavi, BJP legislator S.N. Arya were among 3,000 people attending the party at 10 Circular Road.
However, former chief minister Nitish Kumar and his successor Jitan Ram Manjhi were conspicuous by their absence. They could not make it to Laluís bungalow as both are out of city.
Curious reporters seeking Laluís reaction on the absence of Nitish and Manjhi could all get a one-liner: ďI will not take any irrelevant question today (Aaj hum kisi ajul fajul ka jawab nahi denge).Ē
Lalu greeted the attending Muslims, saying: ďRamazan is a pious month during which Muslim brothers observe fast and worship the Almighty. I greet all the people especially Muslims for their well-being. I thank all of those who attended the iftar party.Ē
Laluís wife Rabri Devi, RJD state president Ram Chandra Purbey, former MP Prabhunath Singh, Lok Sabha MP Jai Prakash Yadav and other prominent party leaders and workers from across the state had delicious spread in the evening.
Lalu personally monitored the arrangement in his inimitable style where Muslim people, observing fast throughout the day, had sherbet followed by sumptuous meal of khajur (date), apple, banana, pyaju and bachka made up of kaddu and baigan (fried onion, pumpkin, brinjal), ghughni, boiled gram pulse, imarti and rasogulla and of course a cup of ice-cream as dessert. Tea was also served.
Bhola Yadav, Laluís aide, said arrangement had been made for around 10,000 people.
Shamael Ahmad, a rozedar and president of Private School & Children Welfare Association, said: ďIt was a good arrangement undoubtedly. Lalu has won our hearts by such a good arrangement. This (such iftar party) unites the society.Ē