RJD chief Lalu Prasad loves to play to the gallery.
On Saturday, he drew big eyeballs when he chose to ‘baptise’ his four-month old grandson, son of daughter Misa, an MP, to politics as the toddler cuddled on the lap of chief minister Nitish Kumar during a feast thrown by Prasad to celebrate Makar Sankranti on Saturday.
‘’Bolo Nana ji zindabad... bolo Nitish ji zindabad,” Prasad kept urging the tiny tot, who looked with amusement at his grandpa. If there was a momentary awe, the veteran politician known for his charm, engaged the tiny tot more as he tried to teach a few ways of sloganeering by raising his right hand. “Aisey bolo... zindabad,” he said.
The chief minister was visibly amused as he fondled the four month old, who is still to be christened by his parents.
“Laluji is in a hurry and wants him (grandson) to join politics,” he quipped, as the people around there chuckled.
Whether the kid grows up to carry the RJD chief’s legacy is still too premature to predict, but there was politics in the air at the lunch with customary ‘chura’ (beaten rice) and ‘dahi’ (curd) topped with tilkuts (sweatmeat) in the menu hosted by the RJD’s first family at their official 10, Circular Road residence.
In a show of bonhomie, Prasad put a tilak of curd (dahi) on the forehead of Kumar to herald an auspicious beginning to the New Year.
“Lalu ji has put a tilak on my forehead to give his blessings. I am grateful. We are all (read GA partners) trying to implement the poll promises made before assembly polls in 2015. We do not forget our promises like others,” he said, apparently taking a dig at the BJP for failing to keep its poll promises of 2014 parliamentary polls.
However, JD(U)’s bid to invite BJP leaders to a similar party, had the Congress sulking. Asked about it, both bigwigs reserved comment.
On the BJP leaders not coming for lunch, Prasad said: “They are scared of coming here. I had invited them, including senior leader Sushil Modi. He is lying about not getting an invitation.”
Prasad also hit out at PM Narendra Modi over the latter’s pictures, instead of Mahatma Gandhi, on the calendar of Khadi department.
“This is a wrong precedent. Modi cannot replace Gandhi. The soul of the father of the nation would be really unhappy,” he said, even as senior leaders, including Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Misa, echoed similar sentiments.
Nonetheless, there was a festive mood at the sprawling bungalow where politicos of all hues mingled amidst a lavish spread of curd and ‘chura’, supplied mostly by workers.
“We have used over 30 quintals of curd today. More is coming,” said a senior RJD worker, in-charge of food at the venue.