RJD celebrates Lalu Prasad's 73rd birthday as 'Garib Samman Diwas'

Son Tejashwi took special permission to meet the jailed RJD president
To cut or not to cut

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar on Wednesday celebrated patriarch Lalu Prasad’s 73rd birthday as “Garib Samman Diwas”. It used to be a big occasion for the party in the past but this year RJD leaders decided there would be no cake-cutting ceremony in view of the plight of the poor and migrants returning to the state. Several party leaders and workers gathered at the Patna residence of Rabri Devi, Lalu’s wife and former chief minister, to wish good health and happiness to the ailing party chief. Son Tejashwi took special permission to meet the jailed RJD president, who has been admitted to RIMS Hospital in Ranchi, and extended birthday greetings. In a twist to the tale, a photograph found its way into social media showing Prasad cutting a cake at the hospital in the presence of Tejashwi.

Bengal vs Gujarat

In a rare instance, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s tweet on Thursday set the microblogging platform ablaze after his reply to a quote of British writer Philip Spratt, put up by historian Ramachandra Guha, found support from many netizens. Guha posted a 1939 Spratt quote saying, “Gujarat, though economically advanced, is culturally a backward province ... Bengal in contrast is economically backward but culturally advanced.” Rupani replied: “Earlier it was the British who tried to divide and rule. Now it is a group of elites who want to divide Indians. Indians won’t fall for such tricks. Gujarat is great, Bengal is great ... India is united. Our cultural foundations are strong, our economic aspirations are high.” Rupani’s tweet found support from many including former Bharatiya Janata Party MP Paresh Rawal. Reacting to the controversy, Guha said: “Statutory warning; when I post quotes by others found in the course of my research, I do so because I find them arresting in some way. I may (or may not) endorse, in part or in whole, what I am quoting.”

Smart move

A Chhattisgarh minister has found himself in a spot for his reaction to a migrant labourer’s plight. It so happened that a labourer from Chennai called the minister and, after narrating his plight, requested him to take steps for his quick evacuation. The harried minister lost his temper and gave him a mouthful. But he wasn't quite prepared for what would happen next. The labourer had allegedly recorded the call and the voice clip reached a former Bharatiya Janata Party legislator. As expected, it went viral in no time. It is not known if the migrant labourer was evacuated but one thing is for sure: The Opposition is doubly happy. After all, the smart phones were distributed among the poor by the previous BJP government.

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