Lalu Yadav picks Priyanka Gandhi over Rahul for 2019 polls, hints at alliance with Akhilesh, Mayawati, Kejriwal

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Wednesday hinted support for Priyanka Gandhi's leadership and suggested that Samajwadi Party-BSP alliance was likely ahead of the 2019 general election, media reports said.

"Be it Mayawati, Akhilesh (Yadav), Robert Vadra, Priyanka (Gandhi), (Arvind) Kejriwal, Lalu Yadav's family, Mamata (Banerjee), an attempt is being made to break them," Lalu said in Patna, CNN News18 reported.

Lalu skipped naming Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi or JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar in his list of leaders he thought were capable of contesting for the 2019 general election.

However, Lalu mentioned the likelihood of Samajwadi Party and BSP coming together for the 2019 polls. "There is a strong possibility of Akhilesh and Mayawati coming together. If it happens, then 2019 match is over," Yadav also said, reported ANI.

Addressing hundreds of party leaders and workers to mark the 21st foundation day of his Rashtriya Janata Dal, Lalu said there was an attempt to spread hate in the country by "vested interests".

He alleged there was an "undeclared Emergency-like situation" in the country.

"The BJP told lies to the people in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The central government has cheated and betrayed the people by not fulfilling any of the promises made to them in the last three years," he said.

"Where are the two crore jobs for the youth? Where is the MSP for farmers? Where is the black money from foreign banks? Where are the 'achche din'?," Lalu asked.

File image of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. Reuters

File image of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. Reuters

The former Bihar Chief Minister said the Bharatiya Janata Party led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power "because we are divided".

"In the name of protecting the cow, people have been killed. Farmers have been committing suicide. There is a dangerous situation in the country."

RJD leaders including Finance Minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui as well as Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav and Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav, the two sons of Lalu Prasad, attended the meeting.

Lalu and Nitish had recently expressed differences over their choice of presidential candidate. While Kumar had extended support to Ram Nath Kovind, Lalu went with the Opposition's Meira Kumar. Kumar had further refused to reconsider his support.

RJD also later backed Congress' decision to boycott Friday's GST session of Parliament. Meanwhile, Nitish sent commerce minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav for the session instead of state finance minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui, who is a RJD leader.

With inputs from IANS


Published Date: Jul 06, 2017 08:37 am | Updated Date: Jul 06, 2017 08:37 am