• February 26, 2018
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india

With Lalu Prasad in jail, son begins ‘justice tour’ of Bihar

Tejashwi Yadav will focus on Muslim-dominated districts which have been the stronghold of the RJD

17:40 February 9, 2018

Patna: Bihar opposition leader and senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav began his monthlong “Nyaya Yatra” (Justice Tour) across the state on Friday.

Yadav, who was deputy chief minister in the erstwhile Grand Alliance government proceeded on his tour in the absence of his father Prasad, RJD president, who is currently lodged in jail in connection with the fodder scam case. Prasad has been convicted in two fresh fodder scam cases.

Yadav said the objective of the tour is to tell voters “how my father Lalu Prasad was framed through conspiracy in fodder scam cases and how chief minister Nitish Kumar has insulted the people’s mandate”

In his first leg of his tour, he will focus on four predominantly Muslim districts in eastern Bihar, which have been the stronghold of the RJD.

Such is the strength of the RJD that it was able to win the Araria seat even at the peak of the Narendra Modi wave during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

The other three seats in the Purnia division, Purnia, Kishanganj and Katihar, were also won by non-BJP parties.

“During the tour, I will convey to the masses the message of Lalu Prasad who was framed through conspiracy and also remind them how the people’s mandate was misused by the chief minister, and seek justice from them,” Tejashwi said while starting his tour.

He said the Lalu Prasad, a “hero of the poor”, was being suppressed since he had talked about uniting the scattered opposition in the country.

Voters had given a mandate to the three-party Grand Alliance in the last 2015 assembly polls but Chief Minister Kumar, whose party was part of it, later walked out of the alliance and formed a government with the BJP in July last year.

The bizarre move by the chief minister has earned bitter criticism from various quarters, since he had won the elections against the BJP but eventually joined hands with it midway.

Threats on the constitution and alarming law and order situation prevailing in the state are the other issues which will be raised during the tour, Yadav said.

“RSS chief Mohan Bhawat has been talking about scrapping the reservation system while the constitution is under threat. We will alert the masses against the evil designs of the communal forces and ask them to be united to remove the BJP-led NDA from power to save the nation,” he told journalists.

He said the chief minister was supposed to raise the issue of grant of Special Category status and Special financial package to Bihar but instead worked towards getting a bungalow in Delhi and increasing his own security.

“He [Nitish Kumar] should have taken a lesson from Andhra Pradesh government which strongly opposed denial of required package for the state in the budget,” Yadav said.

The party hopes to make big gains politically though this Yatra (tour) strategy. According to the party strategists, the idea will lead to strong polarisation of Yadavs (the fellow castemen of the RJD president), further cementing the Muslim-Yadav (M-Y) equation and unity among vast sections of backward voters for whom the RJD president had been fighting.

“It’s Lalu Prasad who gave voice to the poor and the deprived but now he himself is being silenced by his political adversaries. So it’s time for the backwards, Dalits and minorities to get united and come out in support of Prasad,” said a RJD strategist.