Off The Record

Off The Record

No end to Lalu’s woes

These are real bad days for Bihar leader Lalu Prasad. After having lost ministership at the Centre, his party’s strength coming down from 24 to 4 in Lok Sabha, a white paper being announced to look into the finances during his tenure as railway minister, Lalu now faces more shocks.

His party RJD may soon lose its office in Parliament House. The office space is given to parties which have a reasonably good number of MPs in the two Houses of Parliament.

With RJD’s numbers dwindling, his third floor office may now go to Mayawati’s BSP.

Not only this. Lalu may even lose the front row seat in Lok Sabha for the same reason. Normally, seats on the front row are allotted to those who are leaders of parties having 15-20 MPs and former prime ministers. Will Lalu lose out or will he hold on to the front row seat by way of his seniority — being a former chief minister and ex-Union minister — remains to be seen. The witty Bihar leader has already met LS Speaker Meira Kumar, pleading his case.

B S Arun, New Delhi

Political journo

Journalism and politics can be a deadly mix as the former editor of a leading English daily in Kerala is discovering. The person in question had entered the scene 2 years ago as a handy media campaigner for the beleaguered official faction of the CPM in Kerala, led by party honcho Pinarayi Vijayan.

The journo was hired to fend off all the missiles directed against Vijayan in the SNC Lavalin corruption case. He became a regular fixture in TV discussions vehemently defending his boss. He would question the anchors about their knowledge of CPM politics, their intentions behind asking  a ‘leading question.’ Despite his unpredictability and frequent angry exchanges, he seemed to be winning his ways with his boss.

The CPM took his loyalty and enthusiasm on the face value and recently asked him to take ‘classes’ on media for party members. Taking his loyalty to Vijayan too seriously, the gullible ex-editor was reportedly found mimicking and insulting CM Achuthanandan at the class. Last heard, the enfant terrible’s dream to end up as a member of the State Human Rights Commission is hanging fire at the CM’s office.

R Gopakumar, Thiruvananthapuram

Kalam’s mantra

The popularity of former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam has not diminished one bit even after demitting the august office. In Bihar, the missile man still remains a big draw.
Recently, at a school in Patna, a student asked him, “When was it that you faced the most difficult situation in life?”

Pat came the reply: “When I was in engineering college and my teacher asked me to revise the design of my integrated project, as otherwise he said he would stop my scholarship. I had to work hard day and night to satisfy my teacher.”

This prompted a student to ask Kalam, “Nine out of 10 students want to be like you. How do I become like you?”

“Develop good friends… only good books can be your good friends. As you grow up, interact with great minds and discuss with your teachers in scho ols,” was Kalam’s recipe for success.

Abhay Kumar, Patna