Bihar’s former Chief Minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad has set at least one speculation to the rest for the upcoming assembly polls. Claiming that the ‘Grand Alliance’, which he is part of, will emerge victorious, he said Nitish Kumar will be the next chief minister even if his party RJD gets more seats than the JD(U). Lalu’s RJD is in alliance with the incumbent Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) and Congress for the Bihar assembly elections scheduled to begin from October 12.
“Irrespective of who wins the largest number of seats, Nitish Kumar will be the CM of the grand alliance. Our priority is to ensure that BJP goes back empty-handed from Bihar,” he said at an event organised by a TV news channel in Patna.
Lalu’s words have certainly, for once, settled the potential tug-of-war, usually seen among the allies once they emerge victorious in the polls. For the fact, both RJD and JD(U) are contesting 101 seats each, leaving 41 for the Congress party in a ‘Grand Alliance’ which is facing a stiff challenge from the BJP-led four-party NDA.
Targeting BJP over the recent controversy stoked by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statement where he “suggested” the review of reservation policy, Lalu Prasad accused the former of wanting to finish the reservation policy aimed at the empowerment of socially weaker and backward sections of the society.
“We all know BJP is a mask of RSS. Bhagwats statement makes it clear that they want to abolish reservation for backwards, SCs and STs. But we will not allow that, come what may… If you have guts, try and abolish reservations and be ready to face the music,” he said.
Lalu also added that the BJP is wary of two strong “backward caste” leaders like him and Nitish Kumar coming together.
“Everybody knows what was the condition of backwards and scheduled castes in Bihar before 1990. They had to face insult. Things changed after I became the CM in 1990. I have empowered that section and now they are getting the respect,” the former CM of Bihar added.
The interactive event organised by a Television news channel also saw Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and former Deputy CM and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi participating in the discussion.
The crucial assembly polls in Bihar has seen a massive realignment of two staunch opponents – Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad – who incidentally began their political careers as colleagues in Janata Party of 1970s. Both the strongmen have aligned with their once staunch rival – Congress party – to counter the formidable challenge posed by the BJP and its four party alliance.
(With inputs from the PTI)