Patna, Aug. 29: It’s election time in Bihar and political barbs have become order of the day.
On Sunday, it was turn of deputy chief minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi who attacked RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his LJP counterpart Ram Vilas Paswan for their statements on giving reservation to the upper caste poor in government jobs.
“This is nothing but a political gimmick because people know that for exceeding the 50 per cent reservation ceiling a constitutional amendment would have to be passed. Lalu is not capable of that because his party has just four MPs in the Lok Sabha,” Modi said.
Modi said the upper caste has not forgotten the insult inflicted on them during the 15-year rule of Lalu’s party in the state during which he never spoke of giving such reservation. RJD, of late, is trying to make inroads into the upper caste stronghold and inclusion of Prabhunath Singh, a former JD(U) MP, who till recently did not like see eye to eye with Lalu, is being seen as a major step in this direction. RJD leaders, as the grapevine suggests, are also in touch with another Rajput leader, Anand Mohan, behind bars at present, who is reportedly not happy with the present NDA regime.
Modi claimed that during the RJD rule in the state, compensation to victims of over 100 massacres was given on the basis of caste and Lalu’s visit to the places of massacres used to be decided on the basis of the castes of the victims. Modi also pooh-poohed the statements of Lalu and Paswan regarding the minority community (read Muslim) and claimed that these leaders are in the habit of issuing such statements at the time of election and they forget such promises once the polls get over.
Paswan recently issued a statement claiming that the recommendations of the Rananath Mishra commission for minorities would be implemented in Bihar if the RJD-LJP combine comes to power after the Assembly elections.