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Lalu's birthday fete in Chennai

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Minister of State for Railways, R. Velu, cutting a cake on the occasion of the 59th birthday of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, in Chennai on Sunday. Photo: M. Vedhan
Minister of State for Railways, R. Velu, cutting a cake on the occasion of the 59th birthday of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, in Chennai on Sunday. Photo: M. Vedhan

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: One of Chennai's oldest landmarks, Memorial Hall in Park Town, on Sunday witnessed the birthday bash of a politician.

This should sound nothing new, as the State is known for celebrating birthdays of its leaders in its own way. But what was special about the event was that the leader was not a "son of the soil," but one from the Hindi belt Lalu Prasad of Bihar.

As Mr. Prasad is the Railways Minister, the State unit of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, which organised the event, got ready a cake shaped like a train. It was left to Mr. Prasad's deputy, R. Velu, Minister of State, to cut the cake and distribute it.

Welfare gifts

Tamil Nadu Power Minister Arcot N. Veerasami, who gave away welfare gifts to those from the weaker sections, lauded Mr. Prasad for striving hard for Bihar's development. The Railways Minister had been working for the progress of the backward classes and wanted the community to be on a par with the upper castes.

Describing Mr. Prasad as a friend of the poor, Mr. Velu said the Railways Minister had not increased the passenger fare in the last two years. He was able to achieve a turnaround of the department. Mr. Veerasami and Mr. Velu said Mr. Prasad was particular that the railway network in Tamil Nadu should be developed further. Congress MP J.M. Haroon attended the function.

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