Chhattisgarh minister takes Lalu road, invokes Hema Malini
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Borrowing from former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad, Chhattisgarh PWD Minister Brijmohan Agarwal has compared the state's roads to actress Hema Malini, also a former BJP MP. Lalu had famously promised to make Bihar's roads as smooth as Hema Malini's cheeks.
On the occasion of Agarwal's 56th birthday on Wednesday, his supporters issued full-page advertisements in a local magazine with pictures of the actress and the state's roads. "Swapn sundari samaan pradesh ki chamchamati sadken (Beautiful roads of the state shine like the Dream Girl)," says the advertisement.
The advertisement, which also carries pictures of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Agarwal, describes the minister as Vajpayee's "most favourite leader".
In another advertisement, Agarwal, seen as second only to Chief Minister Raman Singh in the state party unit, has been described as the "Son of Chhattisgarh" who has "dedicated chhattis saal (36 years) to the people of Chhattisgarh".
Agarwal's supporters blocked the road outside his residence and distributed copies of the magazine to all passers-by.
On Wednesday evening, Agarwal and his supporters went to the stadium where an IPL match between Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders was under way. Carrying posters wishing him on his birthday and raising slogans, Agarwal and his entourage made their way through the spectators and clicked photographs, despite cameras being banned in the area.
"We were watching the match. Suddenly, he came to us with so many supporters and almost forcibly shook our hands. We had to respond," said a woman who was in the stands. A press release issued by his office later claimed that "Brijmohan dominated the IPL match too".
Agarwal's attempt to project himself as the Chhattisgarh BJP's tallest leader during the IPL match is being seen as a response to a similar gesture by the chief minister during an earlier match on April 28.