The Telegraph
Tuesday , January 15 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Each to his own style at festive feasts

Chief minister Nitish Kumar and his bęte noir Lalu Prasad celebrated Makar Sankranti on Monday in styles as distinctive as their politics.

Adequate arrangement was made at Strand Road, where JD(U) workers and leaders gathered to eat chura (beaten rice), curd, jaggery, vegetables and tilkut.

In deference to seniority, Nitish and other leaders — JD(U) state unit president Bashishtha Narayan Singh, national spokesperson Shivanand Tiwari and Rajya Sabha member Ali Anwar — were served first. Catering staff ensured high standards of hospitality.

Lalu, on the other hand, played the perfect host. He ensured that all the guests had their fill before sitting down to eat. He was loving and strict in equal measure. One person was scolded for serving tilkut with the “inauspicious” left hand. Lalu also affectionately forced Leader of Opposition in Assembly Abdul Bari Siddiqui to eat a tilkut.

At his party, the curd served was made from the milk of his own cows. JD(U) leaders and workers enjoyed curd from the Patna Dairy Project.

As far as savouries were concerned, Lalu scored over Nitish. Two curries — of potato and cauliflower, and pumpkin — were served at 10 Circular Road, while guests at Strand Road ate a dish of potatoes, cauliflowers and peas.

Nitish was a little uncomfortable eating with his hands to begin with and asked for a spoon. But by the time a party worker brought one, he had already indulged his fingers. Lalu never made any attempt to deviate from his desi style and enjoyed the meal with his hands, sitting contended in a corner.