Lalu slammed over ‘backward versus forward’ fight remark

Patna, Sep 28 (IANS) A day after RJD chief Lalu Prasad said the Bihar assembly polls were set to be a “backward versus forward” fight, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies criticised him on Monday.

Senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said Lalu has once again exposed his mindest. “Lalu has nothing to offer except his caste equations in polls.”

Modi said the BJP has the support of “Mandal” (Other Backward Classes) as well as “Kamandal” (Hindutva).

Leader of opposition in the Bihar assembly and senior BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav said Lalu was only playing a caste card. “Time has changed, now youths from backward classes, particularly Yadav, also want jobs, roads, power, health and other basic facilities.”

BJP ally Hindustani Awami Morcha president and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi said the Bihar polls were a fight between “vikas” (development) versus “vinash” (destruction).

“Bihar polls are certainly not a fight between backward versus forward, Lalu Prasad will be proved wrong again,” Manjhi said.

Another BJP ally Rashtriya Lok Samta Party chief and union minister Upender Kushwaha said Lalu was desperate for his survival and making such statements only to consolidate his social support base. “But Lalu’s dream is not going to materialise as people have decided to vote for the BJP-led NDA.”

Lalu, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief, in his first election rally in Raghopur, tried to convey that BJP was anti-poor, anti-dalit and anti-backward classes and it was actually a pro-forward upper caste party.

The former Bihar chief minister gave a call to the Dalits and the backward classes including the Other Backward Classes and Economically Backward Classes, to unite to defeat the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, which he said, intended to end reservations.

“All Dalits and backward classes should unite and vote for the grand alliance of RJD, JD-U and Congress to defeat the BJP-led NDA,” Lalu said.

Lalu also reiterated that the Bihar assembly polls were a reflection of “mandal versus kamandal”.

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