Patna Diary 22-11-2012

Leaders splurge on firecrackers Delhi venue for Chhath Lallan out of scene Party of 70-plus in making?

By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 22.11.12

Leaders splurge on firecrackers

Money matters little to some politicians when it comes to buying crackers. As a result, bursting of crackers went on well after midnight in VVIP areas dominated by leaders. I have heard that a former MP purchased firecrackers worth Rs 70,000,” said a senior minister. He pointed out that the former MP hailed from a political party down to the dumps election-wise. “Well, there should be some reason for bursting firecrackers. Unfortunately, he could not splurge on crackers after the results of the election. So he is spending the money in Diwali for his children,” said a ruling party MP.

Delhi venue for Chhath

Watching former chief minister Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi going through the rigorous rituals of Chhath almost became a tradition in Bihar. The electronic and the print media highlighted their activities so much for around two decades that “Lalu-Chhath” had become a brand. But Lalu and Rabri have been celebrating Chhath at their Delhi residence instead of Patna for the past few years. “As we have observed Chhath at our Delhi residence once, we have to do it again there to make it twice,” said Lalu, the RJD chief. But the party sources said Lalu and Rabri decided to shift the event to Delhi because of their children. “They find it more convenient to gather in Delhi than in Patna,” said a senior party leader.

Lallan out of scene

The supporters of dissident JD(U) MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lallan Singh claimed that he would be sharing the Adhikar Rally stage with chief minister Nitish Kumar on November 4 at Gandhi Maidan. They had said the day would signify the return of Lallan in the inner coterie of Nitish. Worried JD(U) leaders closely watched the stage at Gandhi Maidan on the rally day and were relieved to see Lallan nowhere around. Many JD(U) leaders would not like to see him back in the party. “Now we know that everything being told about Lallan’s return was rumour. The other way to look at it is Nitish outsmarted Lallan in the game,” said a happy JD(U) MLA.

Party of 70-plus in making?

The return of 70-plus former Union minister Md Taslimuddin to the RJD fold is being seen as an indication of “senior” political leaders getting restless before the next Lok Sabha polls. A JD(U) leader pointed out that Taslimuddin left his party because chief minister Nitish Kumar refused to consider him as a candidate from Kishanganj in the next Lok Sabha polls. “The RJD will allow Taslim Sahib to contest from Kishanganj. The RJD may also consider another 70-plus leader — Raghunath Jha — for the Sheohar parliamentary seat. We are willing to send every political leader aged over 70 to the RJD and make it a 70-plus party. We will retain the younger ones,” said a senior JD(U) leader.