As the RJD chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar shared stage for the first time since latter’s projection as the CM nominee of the grand alliance against BJP, Lalu Prasad declared himself the “Ganesha of Bihar politics”, saying nothing moves in the state’s politics without him.
Sharing the dais at a function organised by Hindi daily Hindustan, Lalu said: “I am indispensable in Bihar politics. Nothing can start in state politics without Lalu. In that sense, one may call me the Ganesha of Bihar politics.”
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Attacking the BJP, Lalu mocked the Centre’s move to include yoga in school curriculum. “Do parents send their wards to study or do yoga. Is school an akhara (arena)?… If I become country’s PM someday, BJP will have to face great problems,” he said, adding that BJP will never succeed in its agenda in the state.
Nitish Kumar targeted the BJP for its “focus on caste” in the forthcoming Assembly elections. “BJP has been taking a lot about caste these days. Its growth in Bihar is all because of its alliance with the JD(U). It was no force before the alliance,” the CM said. Nitish also cautioned people against the BJP’s attempt to “create religious frenzy”.
“People should guard against any such attempt by BJP, which otherwise has been talking about development and demanding share of credit for Bihar’s growth. BJP must not forget that it got its foothold in Bihar only because of JD(U)’s company,” said Nitish. While going ahead with a solo-campaign on the development plank, Nitish is likely to only selectively share stage with Lalu in the coming days.
However, Lalu, who has agreed to Nitish Kumar’s idea of hard-selling development in the campaign, will play a crucial role by campaigning in Muslim and Yadav belts, and sharing dais with Nitish depending on the social configuration of an Assembly segment they pick for joint campaigning.