August 4, 2008 3:23:11 am
Lalu Prasad Yadav has said that H D Deve Gowda, when he was Prime Minister in 1997, began “weeping and fainted” after Prasad, who was then Bihar Chief Minister, confronted him for “telling the CBI to file a chargesheet” against him in the fodder scam case.
Disclosing this in an interview with Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of The Indian Express, on NDTV 24×7’s Walk the Talk programme — See Page 11 — Lalu Prasad said Deve Gowda wept “because he had made a mistake” in directing the CBI to move against him.
“He (Deve Gowda) issued a statement from the PMO. I asked him to first talk, discuss and if the case is proved then punish me. Don’t push me to the middle of nowhere, I told him. He told Joginder Singh, the then Director of CBI to file a chargesheet against me… I went to him at his 7, Race Course Road residence and told him ‘Why are you hanging me? I will not be able to work in Bihar’. He was rude and I was also hyper. We said a lot of bad things to each other. He started weeping and fainted.”
Lalu Prasad, Railway minister in the current UPA government, said it was his “mistake” to make Deve Gowda the Prime Minister of the country. “I made him the Prime Minister and paid for it. By choosing him, I made a mistake.”
On the Left’s withdrawal of support to the government and decision to part ways with the Congress, Lalu Prasad said he agreed with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assessment that the Left wanted him as a “bonded slave” but it was only CPM general secretary Prakash Karat who wanted to treat him as one. “… not all of them, only Karat,” he said.
“He (Karat) made it a very personal issue,” Lalu Prasad said, adding that the CPM leader “had done no good to the country”.
He slammed the Left for “laying a red carpet for the BJP”. The Left, he said, would have no option but to return to the UPA and support a non-BJP coalition after the next elections. “From the very beginning, I have been telling them that you cannot cut the branch on which you are sitting — haven’t you heard of Kalidasa’s story? Who’s going to benefit from this? The nation will not forgive you for laying a red carpet for the BJP. At some crossroad, you will have to join us,” he said.
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