Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, you would assume, has plenty of problems on his plate. And we aren’t even talking of the “people-friendly gravy train” he has to roll out this month-end.
In Maharashtra, Raj Thackeray is a doing a Bal Thackeray. From Assam to Karnataka, competitive chauvinism is putting a spoke in the Bihari railway recruitment wheel. The muse has deserted the master of the bon mot (above). With Nitish Kumar sending his partymen to canvass for Hillary Clinton, Lalu has to despatch Rabri Devi to do duty for Barack Obama (just kidding).
You could assume, but you could be wrong. Because, what really gets the son of the soil hot and het up in the midst of all this is, well, a cold lunch.
According to a report in The Hindu today, the rail mantri‘s one-day trip to Bangalore on Monday has resulted in the careers of three senior railway officials being cruelly derailed. Reason: the three were seen to have failed to take proper care of the VIP, i.e. they served Lalu cold aloo. The minister was in town to inaugurate a renovated railway station (Yeshvanthpur), flag off of an extended train service (Ajmer-Mysore), attend to a function (Tumkur) and a Yadava convention (Chitradurga).
“During his hectic one-day visit… the Minister did not have time to have lunch and when the food was served in his special train on his way back to Bangalore, he found it served cold… A senior railway official denies the food served was cold, saying it was prepared at the General Manager’s carriage attached to the special train.”
So, the Bangalore divisional railway manager Mahesh Mangal, the senior divisional commercial manager Anwar Hussain, and the Indian railway catering and tourism corporation area manager Suresh Chandra have been shunted out to Bhubaneswar, Mysore and Lucknow respectively.
Cartoon: PRAKASH SHETTY