On New Year, Lalu Has a Rose For Rabri, and Advice For Jitan Ram Manjhi

On New Year, Lalu Has a Rose For Rabri, and Advice For Jitan Ram Manjhi

Lalu Yadav offering a rose to wife Rabri Devi

Patna: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, back in Patna after spending four months in Delhi recuperating from a heart surgery, today celebrated the New Year at his residence by offering a rose to his wife and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi, with television cameras jostling for space to capture the moment.

In his own style, Mr Yadav told the waiting media, "People follow the English calendar these days, so I thought why not celebrate here in Patna too."

But this wasn't the only Made-for-TV moment on offer at the RJD chief's home today in Patna. Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi also came calling; on the agenda for both politicians was politics.

2015 will be an important year for politics in Bihar in many ways. The state will see assembly elections towards the end of the year, and in all likelihood Mr Yadav's RJD and Mr Manjhi's Janata Dal (United) are set to fight against the BJP as one party, after a merger whose contours are being worked out by Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to look at a larger banner of the Samajwadi Janta Dal.

"Without the support of people like Lalu, we cannot stop the flow of those who are promoting hatred in society," said Mr Manjhi.

"The coming year is very important, the secularism of the country is at stake," said Mr Yadav.