Indian Express

Will drive Modi out or change my name: Lalu

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RJD chief Lalu Prasad said Sunday if he did not suceed in “driving out” Narendra Modi from Bihar, he would “change” his name. He said there was no Modi wave in Bihar and the media surveys that had been predicting three seats for the RJD had to dismiss it later. Targeting the BJP for Giriraj Singh’s Pakistan comment, Lalu Prasad said the BJP should know that its seniormost leader L K Advani had his roots in what is now Pakistan.

Addressing a public meeting at a Muslim-dominated Baheda village under Benipur assembly segment, Lalu Prasad, wearing a cap offered by the local mosque’s imam, attacked Modi, saying it was the RJD that had punctured “Modi hawa”. Lalu Prasad, who has fielded former MP M A A Fatmi against the BJP’s sitting MP and former cricketer Kirti Azad, said: “Main aapke golbandi ko salute karta hoon (I salute your wholesale support)”.

Cautioning Muslims against Nitish Kumar’s attempts to woo them, he said: “I have been able to keep you away from Nitish, who had been in company with communal forces. Now, he wants to lure you after splitting with the BJP. Beware of such a greedy leader. I have never seen such a greedy politician as Nitish”.

He said Nitish had thought Lalu was finished. “But the kind of public response I have been getting after coming out of jail gives me a sense of my resurgence. The Dalits and Muslims had not been feeling empowered in the face of rampant corruption and an overbearing bureaucracy,” said Lalu. He added that even a simple Dalit villager was offered a chair in a police station or at a block office during RJD rule for fear that the officer there would be transferred if the person’s problems were not addressed.

Lalu, who has been eying snatching Madhubani and Darbhanga seats from the BJP, recalled how he had stopped Advani’s rath and there was no riot during the RJD’s rule in Bihar.

Nitish Kumar, who addressed a public meeting in the same area of Benipur, chose to cater to upper caste Brahmins, said to be a BJP constituency. The JD(U) has fielded Sanjay Jha here. Nitish played up the development factor and said he only wanted “wages of good work done for Bihar”.

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