The Telegraph
Thursday , November 24 , 2011
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Patna Diary

Disappearing trick by Opposition kin

Chief minister Nitish Kumar recently described his rivals, Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan, as “NRI Opposition”. But the chief minister was not exactly right in his description. In fact, the actual NRIs are the two leaders’ kin. While Lalu and Ram Vilas make occasional visits to the state, it is hard to know the whereabouts of Sadhu Yadav (left) and Subhash Yadav - Lalu’s salas (brothers-in-law) and also Paswan’s brothers and sons-in-law who were quite active in the state till the 2010 Assembly elections. adhu unsuccessfully contested both the 2010 Assembly and 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Subhash, who initially tried to join Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), unsuccessfully contested the 2010 Assembly polls. So did Paswan’s brother Pashupati Nath Paras (right) and son-in-law Mrinal. But Nitish’s second term has seen these relatives of his high-profile opponents virtually disappear from the state.

Cong pins hope on Sanjay

The Congress has appointed its MP from Maharashtra, Sanjay Nirupam, who has roots in Bihar as the party’s in-charge of the state. The Congress grapevine has it that Sanjay has been roped in to salvage the party from the abyss it has fallen in. The logic is that Sanjay belongs to Bihar and is believed to be aware of the clues to work in his home state. “I am working very hard with a long-term perspective. You will see the Congress resurging in the months and years to follow,” Sanjay said. But his opponents have dismissed him as “clueless”. “Had he been that smart a leader, he would have initiated his career from his home state. A persona non grata in Bihar politics, he initiated his career with Bal Thackeray’s Shiv Sena becoming an MP. Later, he shifted to the Congress. He will prove to be a bigger disaster for the Congress in the state,” remarked a BJP leader.

CM’s Bollywood turnaround

Nitish Kumar is hardly known for giving space o cine personalities either in his party or his government. The first year of his second tenure, however, has witnessed a steady stream of actors and actresses making visits to Bihar and greeting him. Neetu Chandra, Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina Kaif, Emraan Hashmi - all have landed in the state one by one and many f them have met the chief minister. Will Nitish now throw open the door of his party or government for the film stars? Few are able to answer this question.

Good life continues

Lalu Prasad, an MP from Saran, mostly stays in New Delhi. His wife, Rabri Devi, too, lives with him most of the time, particularly after losing the Assembly elections in 2010. But it is foolhardy to think that the duo’s 10 Circular Road residence in Bihar is devoid of visitors. Their son, Tej Pratap, a student of BN College, moves around in a swanky car and has a large number of friends. The house is always abuzz with activities. Insiders at 10 Circular Road revealed that the house with its sprawling campus is a good picnic spot for Tej and his friends. “Like his father, Tej loves good food. There are several servants in the house who prepare food for us and we enjoy feasting here,” remarked a friend of Tej. The people of the state might have rejected the Lalu-Rabri regime but Tej’s friends have high regards for “Lalu uncle”. “He (Lalu) asks what we have eaten whenever he comes here. He feels pleased to see us and even cracks jokes with us occasionally,” said one of them.
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