RJD leaders unite to please Lalu

The unopposed election of Ram Chandra Purbey as the state president of the RJD pleased the party boss, Lalu Prasad.

"In other parties like the BJP, there is a tussle. Even the president of the JD(U), Sharad Yadav, will have to fight it out for re-election to the post. But my party is united," he said. The NDA leaders claimed that the "unity" in the RJD indicates "total dictatorship". "When the RJD was formed, there was a provision that nobody could become national president of the party more than twice. Lalu changed it and became the president for life. He even named the national office of the party in New Delhi after his wife Rabri Devi. Lalu's desires are fulfilled by his party men, including Purbey," said a JD(U) leader, stressing that former state presidents did not have a say in running the party.

The BJP leaders are confused over who could be the unanimous candidate for the post of the state president. "There is a dilemma in the party. It has to elect a party president before the next Lok Sabha polls. The central leaders have to decide if they want a BJP leader who is all for the BJP-JD(U) alliance or a person who can help the party form the government in the Centre alone," said a BJP leader. The party leaders pointed out that there was also hesitation over removing the present state president Dr C.P. Thakur, who has completed his tenure. He is the most acceptable face in the caste he belongs to despite his age, said another BJP MLA. "Why not go for an election in which claimants for the post can fight it out," said the MLA, stressing that the BJP central leadership is no different from the Congress central leadership. "Both believe in nominations, not elections," the MLA said.

The NDA leaders are perturbed over the statement of LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan seeking the Prime Minister's intervention in Bihar because of spurt in rapes in the state. "Paswan issues statement on anything happening in the world in Bihar context. Earlier, he had spoken about Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) refusing to acknowledge that irregularity in the MGNREGA was a national phenomenon. The Union government has conceded this point," said an enraged JD(U) MP, wondering if anyone in the Union ministry took Paswan seriously. "He will be better off in his so-called 'padyatra' (march), which he will undertake in a fleet of cars instead of walking as the name suggests," the MP added.

During the Lalu-Rabri days, everybody - leaders, officials, journalists and masses - could wish the chief minister at 1 Aney Marg on the occasion of the New Year. Present chief minister Nitish Kumar followed the tradition for some years. But he seems to be avoiding people on the occasion after his mother died on January 1. This year, he went to Rajgir for the last few days of 2012 and returned to Patna on the New Year day. He also went to his native village Kalyan Bigha to pay tributes to his late mother that day. "The tradition of exchanging New Year greetings appear to be dying with even

Lalu rushing off to Rohtas instead of waiting for his

workers and leaders to greet him on the New Year,"

said a seasoned politician, pointing out that only deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi was in Patna to greet his followers on January 1.

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