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‘Dejected’ RJD issues strike threat

- Team Lalu plans agitation, while Modi talks balanced development over tea

Muzaffarpur, Feb. 12: The district administration today scotched the wish of Lalu Prasad to hold a parallel rally in Muzaffarpur on March 3 to counter the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s meeting amid bandh threat from the RJD.

The RJD’s application to hold the rally was rejected because the BJP had approached the district administration two days earlier for the rally. District magistrate Anupam Kumar said all the three grounds — MIT, police lines and Awasiya field had been allotted to the BJP because they had applied for the fields on February 8. The RJD applied for them on February 10. He said the BJP had been allotted the grounds on first come, first served basis. The sub-divisional officer (west) Nooral Haque Siwani today issued a no-objection certificate to the BJP in this connection.

The RJD, meanwhile, threatened a Bihar Bandh on March 3 if it was not handed over a ground to hold a parallel rally here on March 3, to be addressed by its leader Lalu Prasad. State spokesperson of the RJD, Mohammad Iqbal Sami, claimed in the evening that the district administration had not informed the party about the rejection of its application for the allotment of the grounds. So, the party is firm on holding the meeting on March 3, he said.

The party leaders threatened to agitate strongly in the days to come if the district administration officially denied permission to the RJD to hold the rally. Some RJD leaders have mooted the idea of giving a strike call in Bihar on March 3 in such a scenario. Another section of the RJD leaders favoured challenging the district administration’s decision in Patna High Court, said Sami.

Keen to project the party that can take on Narendra Modi, the RJD leaders could plan intense agitation to woo Muslim voters. “The party knew its application for the allotment of the grounds in Muzaffarpur would be rejected, but we planned a parallel rally to send the message that Modi’s visit to Bihar would no longer go unchallenged,” an RJD leader said.

While the RJD leaders were busy planning their agitation path, the BJP today started preparations for the Modi rally on March 3, his second in the state after the October 27 Hunkar Rally in Patna. The party has started the exercise of mapping the grounds for security reasons, said Debanshu Kishore, the district spokesperson of the BJP.


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