Sunday, Apr 02, 2023

In First Speech After Months, RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Hits Out At Modi-Nitish Duo

In First Speech After Months, RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Hits Out At Modi-Nitish Duo

‘Rising fuel prices and inflation have broken the backbone of the common man,’ RJD supremo Lalu Prasad said as he addressed party workers on Monday

Former Bihar chief minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad PTI File Photo

Addressing his first political meet after many months, RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Monday lashed out at the BJP and JDU for their “many failures” as he castigated the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre and the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar.

"GST and demonetisation as also corona have created an economic crisis. Now, there is the threat of destroying the social fabric. After Ayodhya, some people are talking about Mathura," Prasad, a strident critic of the BJP, said without naming the BJP or Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Prasad also defended himself and his wife Rabri Devi against allegations levelled by his rivals, who termed their reign as “jungle raj”. "We ensured that the poor and the weaker sections reached polling booths. They got angry as the poor got their due," he asserted.

Prasad made the comments while delivering a speech to mark the silver jubilee of the RJD. A frail-looking Prasad also recalled his fight seeking the OBC quota, during his speech, which was also aired on national television.

Snappy wisecracks were missing from the speech he delivered virtually for scores of RJD workers and leaders at the party's state headquarters in Patna who were waiting for a glimpse of their leader for a long time since his incarceration after conviction in the fodder scam.

He criticised the Centre over privatisation of PSUs. "Even Railways is gradually being privatised. This will result in severe unemployment and economic crisis," he said.

Rising fuel prices and inflation have already broken the backbone of the common man, said the RJD supremo.

He attacked the Nitish Kumar government over "rampant corruption", alleged mismanagement of the Covid-19 crisis and "four murders" taking place in the state every day.

"Lakhs and lakhs of people are being reduced to migrant labourers because of lack of employment," he said.

He lavished praise on his younger son Tejashwi Yadav, who is the leader of the opposition, for astutely helming the party during the assembly elections in 2020.

"Frankly, I had never expected this from him. He safely anchored the RJD's boat (naiya paar lagayi). RJD has a bright future," Prasad said.

RJD is the single largest party in the 243-member Bihar assembly though the JD(U)-BJP alliance governs the state.

Prasad also had a word of praise for his elder son Tej Pratap who, he said, made a "forceful speech" at the event.

The RJD president said he was instrumental in making five prime ministers and his party was still strong with its members also in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

The RJD boss, known for breathing fire and brimstone while making political speeches, in his restrained address, credited his wife Rabri Devi, a former chief minister, and Tejashwi for him being alive.

"But for them, I would have perished in Ranchi (where he was incarcerated in the fodder scame cases). Doctors at AIIMS here also took great care of me," Prasad, who slurred at times, said.

He promised RJD workers and leaders that he will overcome whatever remained of the illness and visit Bihar soon.

"I will come to Patna soon...not only Patna, I will mark my attendance in all districts of Bihar soon. Please don't lose patience," he told them.

(With PTI inputs)