Lalu Prasad Yadav asserts Congress-RJD unity, says Nitish Kumar 'is finished politically after joining hands with BJP'
The Congress and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad on Saturday came together on the 130th birth anniversary of Bihar's first chief minister and freedom fighter Sri Krishna Singh and attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Patna: The Congress and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad on Saturday came together on the 130th birth anniversary of Bihar's first chief minister and freedom fighter Sri Krishna Singh and attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Prasad was the chief guest at the birth anniversary programme of Singh, which was organised by the Congress.
The BJP and its allies held a separate programme, a little away from the venue of the Congress' event, to recall the contributions Sri Babu, as Singh was known.
The event was attended by Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad and other NDA leaders.
Away from the political programmes, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar joined Governor Satya Pal Malik and Assembly Speaker Vijay Chaudhary in garlanding Singh's statue at the secretariat premises.
Making clear the future political move of the grand alliance after Kumar's JD(U) broke away from the coalition, Prasad spoke about his close relations with the Congress and the Congress leaders, in turn, praised him.
"The Congress is an all-India party and we (RJD) are solidly together with each other," Prasad said and urged the Congressmen to avoid fighting among themselves after whoever was elevated to the post of the party's state unit chief.
He also made a scathing attack against the prime minister over demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which he said had created woes for the common man.
The RJD chief alleged that central agencies such as the CBI, ED and Income Tax were after him and his family "on the direction of the BJP". But when the rise in turnover of a company owned by BJP chief Amit Shah's son during the NDA rule came under the scanner, he was not even questioned by these agencies, he added.
Prasad also used the opportunity to hit out at Kumar. "He (Kumar) is finished politically after joining hands with the BJP," he claimed.
The Congress leaders present on the occasion, including former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar, former Kerala governor and MP Nikhil Kumar and Akhilesh Singh, in turn, heaped praise on Prasad.
"Laluji has courage. Stopping the chariot of (LK) Advaniji (in October, 1990) was not a small thing," Meira Kumar said.
The host of the programme, former RJD leader Akhilesh Singh, who is now with the Congress, said, "Laluji has always been a well-wisher of (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi and (vice-president) Rahul Gandhi."
Singh, who was a minister in the UPA-I government, is also an aspirant for the Bihar Congress chief's post.
Asked about inviting Prasad as the chief guest at the function, he shot back, "At a Congress event, should we invite the BJP, RSS or Nitish Kumar, instead of a trusted friend like Lalu Prasad?"
The anniversary of Sri Babu served as an opportunity for a major joint show by the Congress and the RJD. It makes the future plan of Sonia Gandhi's party in Bihar clear after Kumar's JD(U) quit the Grand Alliance in July and aligned with the NDA.
Meanwhile, addressing the NDA programme, Sushil Modi launched a blistering attack against the Congress and the RJD.
"The Congress and the RJD, who are celebrating Sri Babu's birth anniversary, are in reality the killers of his dream. Their joint rule at the Centre had led to the closure of his pet project, the Barauni refinery," he alleged.
On the other hand, the NDA government under Narendra Modi had not only rejuvenated the Barauni refinery, but also taken steps for its expansion, the BJP leader claimed.
In the political arena, Chirag Paswan faces the chief minister, a confused BJP that has to wager peace between two sparring allies, and a friends-or-foes possibility with Tejashwi Yadav-led RJD
Apart from Sibal, G-23 leaders Shashi Tharoor and M Veerappa Moily have also slammed Prasada for switching to the BJP
Maharashtra deputy chief minister and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar and senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan also accompanied Thackeray during the meeting with the prime minister