Patna, Jan. 20: Bolstered by warm public response to his recent meetings in districts, RJD chief Lalu Prasad today announced to convene Parivartan (change) Rally at the historic Gandhi Maidan on April 7.
Addressing the open session of the party’s national convention at the SK Memorial Hall here, Lalu said: “We will defeat the Nitish Kumar and the BJP alliance. I do not have the resources Nitish used to hold a rally at Gandhi Maidan. Our partymen will have to go to people and urge them to come to Gandhi Maidan.”
The RJD would hold a rally at Gandhi Maidan after over five years, wherein Lalu promised to issue a fresh chargesheet against the NDA government in the state.
Political pundits said Lalu’s decision to host a public rally at the historic ground indicates at increase in his confidence to bounce back in the state.
Lalu organised some of the biggest rallies ever in Gandhi Maidan when he was in power. But the last one in 2007 was a poor show compared to the previous ones. His political rivals declared that it was the fallout of a dip in his popularity.
More than five years down the line, Lalu is keen to restore his popularity. In a bid to win hearts of women, Lalu today said: “We will raise our voice for the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill in the next Lok Sabha, provided the government incorporates our demand for quota within quota for women belonging to weaker sections and minority communities.”
He promised to pressurise the Centre for stringent punishment for rape.
Switching to the election mode, Lalu promised 50 per cent of the Lok Sabha and the Assembly tickets to the youths. He asked his workers to go to villages and localities dominated by upper caste people and seek their support.
“We need the support of every section of society,” he said.
Lalu hailed the Congress’s decision to elevate Rahul Gandhi to the vice-president’s post, but stopped short of announcing an alliance with the oldest party of the country. According to an RJD MLA, Lalu was reluctant to name his allies because he was uncertain on how Rahul would respond to his proposal for an alliance.
The Congress snapped ties with the RJD before the 2009 Lok Sabha polls after Lalu unilaterally gave just three seats to the Congress. He later acknowledged it as a mistake. Rahul, however, favoured the Congress fighting it alone in Bihar during the last Assembly polls.
Despite the uncertainty over the RJD’s alliance with the Congress, Lalu said the next Lok Sabha polls would be between the communal and the secular forces. “The communal forces want to unfurl the Tricolour at Lal Quilla. The RJD will do the needful to stop them,” he said, appealing people to support him in defeating the communal forces.
Coming back to the state, Lalu alleged that chief minister Nitish Kumar was controlling the Bihar BJP through deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi.
“Nitish got a state president of the BJP of his choice by removing Dr C.P. Thakur,” Lalu said.
On the last Independence Day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced his intention to improve the power situation in Bihar.
“Nitish heard the speech of the PM and made an announcement that he would improve the power situation in the state while addressing the Independence Day function at Gandhi Maidan,” Lalu said.