Bihar: Lalu Halted Advani's Rath, Nitish Will Do The Same To Modi, Says Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav

Bihar Deputy CM and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav's remarks came at a function organised by the state's handloom weavers' cooperative union. In his speech he also underscored 'the country belongs to all communities and no social group can be deprived of its rights'.

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav

Launching  a scathing attack on PM Narendra Modi, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav on Thursday claimed that the state's ruling 'Mahagathbandhan' led by his boss Nitish Kumar would stop "Modi's chariot” like his father Lalu Prasad had halted “Advani's rath yatra”.

What did Tejashwi say?

The young RJD leader said opposition parties were coming together to defeat the ruling BJP at the Centre, which he accused of "failing to fulfil promises" made in the past and "raising the “Hindu versus Muslim” binary whenever its shortcomings were pointed out".

Yadav made the remarks in a hard-hitting speech delivered at a function organised by the state's handloom weavers' cooperative union, where he also underscored "the country belongs to all communities and no social group can be deprived of its rights".

"Be it Hindus, Muslims or any other religious community, all had fought for the country's Independence," said Yadav, adding that "we hear outrageous remarks from some quarters, suggesting that Muslims be deprived of their voting rights".

"But rest assured, as long as leaders like Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar are around, nobody can dare do anything of the sort….. The country is not the property of anybody's father," said Yadav, evoking wild applause.

"Lalu had stopped the rath (chariot) of L K Advani. Now, the 'Mahagathbandhan', led by Nitish Kumar, will stop the rath of (Narendra Modi)," said the Bihar deputy CM.

Yadav's take on Opposition unity

Referring to CM Nitish Kumar's opposition unity drive, as part of which leaders of various parties are scheduled to take part in a conclave here on June 23, Yadav said they were trying to ensure that Congress and regional parties come together. 

"If these people (BJP) return to power, this country will be ruined," he said. 

Yadav alleged that attempts were being made to rewrite the country's history. 

"It seems as if a dictator is in the seat of power and we are compelled to obey his commands. The Constitution is being tinkered with. Nothing worthwhile has been achieved," he claimed.

“Promises had been made (by those in power) like two crore jobs, Rs 15 lakh in every bank account, doubling of farmers' incomes by the year 2022….. none of these was fulfilled. When we raise questions on these failed promises, they try to divert public attention by talking about Hindus versus Muslims, temples versus mosques," the RJD leader said.

Later, talking to reporters, he expressed delight over Bihar being “all set to play yet another historic role when leaders of different opposition parties will converge here as part of the fight against the BJP in Lok Sabha polls”.

"I had accompanied Nitish Kumar when he called on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata. She had exhorted us to take the lead, invoking the legacy of Jayaprakash Narayan," he said.

Tejashwi's take on PM Modi's rally in Bihar

Asked about the BJP's plans to hold a rally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bihar in an apparent bid to neutralise the tempo generated by the opposition conclave, Yadav said, “Everybody is free to visit any part of the country. But I wonder when the PM comes here, would he announce grant of special status to the state”.

“As a matter of fact, the BJP is scared of facing the Lok Sabha polls next year. Not for nothing has Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited Bihar so many times ever since his party lost power here," claimed Yadav.

Earlier in the day, while talking to reporters outside the regional passport office which he visited to get travel documents made for his three-month-old daughter, Yadav also predicted “a series of defeats” for the BJP in states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, where assembly polls are due later this year.

The deputy CM, who holds the road construction portfolio, bristled when he was asked about the BJP's demand for a CBI inquiry into the recent collapse of a portion of a bridge over the river Ganges.

“I do not want to engage in politics over the issue. Appropriate action will be taken. But I would like to know why did the BJP not get a CBI inquiry ordered last year when another portion of the bridge had caved in. The party was then sharing power in the state and one of its leaders was road construction minister," said the RJD leader.

(With PTI Inputs)