Saturday, October 24, 2009

Nitish's sister, Lalu's wife on fast for kin

PATNA: The perennial war of words between Bihar's two main political rivals __ chief minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad, has stopped,

albeit temporarily. For, both of them are busy supervising Chhath puja preparations at their homes.

At 1 Anne Marg, the official residence of Bihar CM, Nitish's sister is on fast to offer Chhath prayers on behalf of the family. At the 10 Circular Road, the official residence of former CM Rabri Devi nearby, elaborate arrangements have been made for the occasion with a `kirtan' troupe singing devotional songs throughout the night.

"Rabri has been performing Chhath puja in Patna ever since we shifted to the state capital over three decades ago. We used to go to Pahalwan Ghat or cross the Ganga on a boat to reach the other side of the river for the purpose," recalled Lalu. Even as the CM of the state, Rabri continued to offer Chhath prayers from various Ganga ghats for a few years before she decided to offer `arghya' to Sungod from the swimming pool at 1 Anne Marg, then her residence.

"There's a lot of noise at the ghats with people bursting crackers and a few others bringing orchestra parties. We, therefore, decided to celebrate the occasion at our home," Lalu said.

He said Chhath is a mega event in Bihar. "Since the water level in the Ganga river can rise unpredictably __ like it has this year, the government should create permanent structures like tanks having water supply lines for use on such occasions," Lalu said.