Patna, Oct 21 (IANS) Firecrackers named after Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and his wife and former chief minister Rabri Devi are selling like hot cakes in Bihar. They are the first preference for people, more popular than those named after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Lalu Prasad, one of India's most colourful politicians, and his wife may have been voted out of power in the state, but there seems to be no end to the electorate's love story with brand Lalu.
Nitish Kumar has been ruling Bihar for nearly a year but he lags behind in the battle of the brands vis-Ã -vis Lalu.
'In the wholesale market here, Lalu-Rabri brand is the number one choice. There are few takers for Nitish Kumar brand firecrackers,' said Durgesh Prasad, a shopkeeper selling crackers and other incendiary delights for Diwali.
'If the sales of Lalu-Rabri crackers are any indication, their popularity is still high among the people,' said Raju Singh, another shopkeeper.
Going by the demand, not only Nitish's but also the Sonia (Sonia Gandhi) brand crackers are struggling in the market.
Other brands such as Zinta (Priety Zinta) and Mallika (Mallika Sherawat) are no match to Lalu-Rabri.
Lalu-Rabri parachutes, rockets, and Lalu streakers and bombs are in high demand. Sales of Nitish throw bombs and Nitish flowerpots are much less. There are Sonia sparklers, Mallika bombs and Dhoni atom boms.
An impressed Lalu told newspersons here that he might have lost power in Bihar but people still love him.
'I am still a bomb and Nitish is just a 'phulzhari' (sparklers),' he said.
Last year, firecrackers named after US President George W. Bush and Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden did brisk business.
This is not the first time the Lalu brand has been used to spin money. A few months ago Lalu 'rakhis' proved a sellout.
Lalu chocolates, launched in the rural pockets of north Bihar, have also found many takers. Shopkeepers insist that children simply love 'Lalu ka Khazana' - manufactured by a New Delhi-based company was launched last year. Shopkeepers say children love the chocolates.