This will be the third year in a row that Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad's (pictured) family will give the traditional makar sankranti festivities a miss. The reason? Prasad had not been granted bail in the fodder scam case. Party spokesperson Bhai Virender said RJD members would have celebrated the event with the traditional chuda-dahi meal on Monday if Prasad had got bail. People in Bihar consume chuda-dahi or curd with flattened rice during the festival. Many RJD leaders still remember how makar sankranti had always been a big event for party workers across Bihar to pay a visit to the former Bihar chief minister at his residence.
Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Jayant Chaudhary has urged party members and civic workers to be careful about the increasing number of potholes in Uttar Pradesh. Citing instances of the state government's alleged apathy towards the condition of the roads in the state, Chaudhary tweeted images of pothole-ridden stretches and asked party workers to wear helmets while campaigning. The UP government had promised to make the state pothole free by June 15, 2017. To remind the government about its promise, the RLD had launched a campaign in October 2018, #Selfiewithgadhdha, asking people to post their pictures with potholes, thus forcing the government to act on its promise.
In defence of Durga puja
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has urged Durga puja committees in Kolkata to unite against "unholy forces". Last week, the Kolkata branch of the Income Tax Department had served notices to at least 40 big-budget Durga pujas in the city to file their TDS and also disclose the sources of donation. "Are Tirupati Balaji, Golden Temple, Jagannath Temple, Siddhi Vinayak Temple, Ajmer Sharif going to be taxed, too?" asked the West Bengal CM. Launching a blistering attack on the central government, Banerjee said, "We will not allow them to loot people who want to respect Goddess Durga and celebrate their own festival."