Indian Express

‘Stopped Advani, will stop Modi’

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Lalu addresses the public meeting and (inset) Misa Bharati, his daughter and candidate.Ravi S Sahani Lalu addresses the public meeting and (inset) Misa Bharati, his daughter and candidate. Ravi S Sahani

Idiom and rustic humor in full flow, Lalu Prasad presented his daughter Misa Bharati before a predominantly Yadav crowd at Paliganj in Pataliputra, where she is up against Ram Kripal, Lalu aide-turned-BJP candidate.

“Until Yadavs hit the back of their opponents with a stick, they don’t get the message,” Lalu said. “Maine hi Advani ka rath roka tha, main hi Modi ko rokunga (It was I who had stopped L K Advani’s rath, it is I who will stop Narendra Modi.”

About Nitish Kumar, he said, “It was I who made the Nitish plant flourish, it is I who will now finish it off by pouring hot water into its roots.” He reminded the crowd of the price control during his regime. “Mere time mein aaloo ka daam badha tha kya?” he said, and rhymed Lalu with aaloo.

He even accused Amit Shah of provoking the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar. “It is not about victory for Misa and me, it is about saving the country from disintegration. It is nothing less than it was in 1977. I can assure you I will not allow rioters to have their way.”

Misa said there was a need to strengthen Lalu in his fight against communal forces. She showed she has picked up one trick of involving the crowd, asking them to show their solidarity by raising their hands.

As their helicopter rose in the air and the dust settled, two residents said it was a contest between Misa and Ram Kripal, ruling sitting JD(U) MP Ranjan Prasad Yadav “out of it”.

Nisar Ahmed said they could have voted for the “popular” Ram Kripal had he joined any party other than the BJP. “Laluji is the only leader who did not compromise his secular credentials. Though Nitishji has worked for us, his candidate was hardly seen here in the last five years.”

Yadu Prasad, a Yadav, said of Ram Kripal: “The man who had been using the harshest words against Modi until the other day is now heaping praise on him. Misa will get ‘reaction’ votes to Ram Kripal’s betrayal of Lalu.”
Moments later, a group of Ram Kripal supporters came up. One said: “It is about Modi at the Centre. We will support Ram Kripal all the way.”

As they argued, someone explained: “The difference is clear. Those wearing a dhoti and carrying a gamchha are Lalu supporters. Those in shirt and trousers are Modi supporters.”

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