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Kin come last for RJD chief

Lalu Prasad at the news meet in Patna on Saturday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh

Patna, March 15: RJD president Lalu Prasad today fielded his private secretary and fellow activist of the 1974 JP movement, Vinod Shrivastav, from East Champaran.

“I have fielded a loyal cadre of the movement that constituted the basis of our politics and party,” Lalu said, ridiculing how Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and the BJP were dependent on candidates “imported” from the RJD — the “genuine” outfit rooted in the philosophy of Jayaprakash Narayan and Ram Manohar Lohia.

Lalu, who returned after campaigning in Begusarai and Bhagalpur, announced he would campaign last in Saran and Pataliputra, from where his wife Rabri Devi and daughter Misa Bharati are contesting respectively. “Right now, I am busy campaigning for party candidates fielded from far-flung hinterland areas. I will campaign in Saran and Pataliputra in the end,” he said.

Ruling out a “wave” for the BJP, Lalu launched a blistering attack on Narendra Modi. “The mascot of communal forces (read Modi) has no right to seek votes in Bihar. He has struck an alliance with the Shiv Sena, which had unleashed mayhem on the students from Bihar and other eastern states,” Lalu said.

Training his guns on Ram Vilas Paswan — who joined the NDA — and close confidant Ram Kripal Yadav — who joined the BJP — Lalu said: “They will pay a heavy price for deserting the cause of poor masses and social justice.”

“By touching BJP president Rajnath Singh’s feet, Ram Kripal has surrendered the pagri (headgear) of the poor who reposed faith in him, and the RJD that nurtured him over the years. I regret that Ram Kripal has destroyed his political career,” he said.

He further said: “In the 2009 polls, Ram Vilas paid for having tied up with the BJP in the past. He has repeated his blunder. The people will not pardon him again and again.”

Lalu also said that Nitish was the “original sinner” who allowed communal forces to gain a foothold in the state by enjoying power in their company for nearly eight long years. “Nitish hawa me ud jayengein (Nitish will vanish into thin air),” he said.