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Lalu Prasad Yadav prepares to sit out first election in over 40 years, urges people of Bihar to repel 'disruptive forces'

In his over four-decades-long political career, this Lok Sabha election is the first in which Lalu Prasad will be just an spectator; that too from a distance.

The incarcerated RJD supremo was not very hopeful about getting relief from the Supreme Court and merrily stepping out of prison, so he had already prepared a statement in the form of a letter addressed to the people of Bihar. The signed letter was released on Wednesday hours after the apex court rejected his bail plea.

The letter is carefully addressed to the Dalits and backward classes and urges them to remain united and "defeat the forces hell bent on snatching their fundamental and constitutional rights including reservation". The urgency to write such a letter possibly came amid apprehension of a split in votes of these classes. The BJP and its allies, particularly JD(U), have been trying for a long time to woo Dalits and extremely backward castes.

"Sitting alone in a Ranchi hospital, I wonder if the disruptive forces can succeed in writing the script of conspiracy by putting me in jail. I will not allow this till my end... In this election, everything is at stake; nation, society, Lalu who always fought for your dignity and rights... The noose has been tightened around my neck by the government and the conspirators and with advancing age, my body is not working properly, but I will continue raising my voice for your rights and honour. I will never turn my back," he said in his two-page letter which is being shared among the masses across the state through various channels.

 Lalu Prasad Yadav prepares to sit out first election in over 40 years, urges people of Bihar to repel disruptive forces

File image of Lalu Prasad Yadav. PTI

Lalu has also invoked the "Karo ya maro" (do or die) cry of the freedom struggle and asked people to wage a fight against the merchants of hatred who, he alleged, were trying to break the national unity.

Knowing full well that Dalits and extremely backward classes are very sentimental and protective about their constitutional rights of reservation, Lalu is once again impressing upon them that the RSS plans to do away with this facility and plunder the Constitution. He said, "There is a need for the same 'do or die' sentiment to drive away anti-reservation and anti-Constitution Narendra Modi. Each one of you has to become a Lalu Yadav and fight like him notwithstanding the hardships, fear, threat and danger on the way."

In all the elections from the mid-1970s till 2015, Lalu had been fighting most of the battles on the front foot by leading his party or alliance. But this election is quite different when for the first time, the responsibility of leading the electoral battle is on his younger son Tejashwi Prasad Yadav but the heir apparent of the RJD is finding it extremely hard to hang on to the time-tested, strong and united constituency of Lalu, due to a disintegrated grand alliance, where chinks have appeared in the course of seat-sharing and ticket distribution.

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Updated Date: Apr 11, 2019 11:18:35 IST