RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav unleashed a string of tirades against PM Narendra Modi and his former ally Nitish Kumar on Saturday in Patna. Addressing an event organised jointly by State Congress unit and ex Central Minister Akhilesh Singh to commemorate the 130th birth Anniversary of first Chief Minister of Bihar Sri Krishna Singh, Lalu targeted PM Modi for economic slowdown and termed the ‘demonetisation’ as a ‘big game’ in which ‘RSS and BJP people turned their black money into white’.
“Alleging that Modi was out to change the constitution and just emphasise on issues related to cow, Lalu said: “it’s an emergency-like situation. People are dying of hunger. Farmers are crying as Modi did not keep his promise of giving a Minimum Support price (MSP) of 50 percent over and above cost of cultivation.”” The Telegraph reported.
“Lalu also asserted that Nitish Kumar was finished and he was locked in direct fight with the BJP and would never bow down to it’ despite being harassed by central agencies like the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). ‘He (read Narendra Modi) gets the CBI and the ED to send notices to my son, but will not do the same to BJP chief Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah, whose firm’s turnover rose 16000 times. When the congress raised the issue he starts remembering Robert Vadra,’ Lalu said.” The Telegraph further reported.
According to political observers the event was more a power show of Akhilesh Singh who is a Bhumihar leader and among frontrunners for Congress state president post. A Bhumihar, Sri Krishna Singh who was popularly known as ‘Bihar Kesari’ contributed immensely in the development of Bihar after independence but now he has been turned into a community leader.
The event has been attended by Ex lok sabha speaker and veteran congress leader Meira Kumar, Ex Union Minister Shakeel Ahmad, BPCC working president Kaukab Quadri, MLA Shakeel Khan etc.
Earlier, a furore of sort has been made out of the State Congress Invitation to RJD supremo Lalu Yadav to preside over the event. But state congress working president Kaukab Quadri defended the decision and went on to lavish praise on Lalu. According to a India Today report, he said, “Lalu Prasad Yadav is a tall leader, who stood with the ideology of secularism in the country.”
The state congress wing has been going through a rocky phase. A faction of Bihar congress leaders headed by ex president Ashok Choudhry has been opposing any alliance with Lalu’s RJD since the break up of Mahagathbandhan.
In the wake of Nitish Kumar diversion to NDA, a number of party’s leaders, ostensibly because of proximity with Bihar CM were ready to switch side; a falling apart seemed imminent. Although the schism could not take place, probably, due to their inability to placate enough number of legislatures to cope up with anti defection law.
However, most of the estranged leaders did not turn up to the otherwise well attended Yesterday’s event, points to the simmering tension within the party.