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Rabri steps in to claim Lalu’s Saran

Chhapra, April 12: Former chief minister Rabri Devi stepped into the shoes of her husband Lalu Prasad — who has been barred from contesting — to claim Saran, the seat he had held before his membership was terminated.

Rabri on Saturday filed her nomination papers — in four sets — as an RJD candidate from Saran. Lalu Prasad, former minister Prem Chand Gupta and RJD MP Prabhunath Singh were present.

Later, at a public meeting on the Zila School grounds, Rabri urged voters to make all RJD candidates from Saran commissionary — Maharajganj, Siwan and Gopalganj — victorious, to keep the country integrated. Otherwise, it would break apart at the hands of divisive forces, she said.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad said the country faced the danger of disintegration and to avert that the electorate must not vote for divisive forces. Hitting hard on Narendra Modi, Lalu quoted former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and said the latter never wanted Modi to continue as Gujarat chief minister after the 2002 communal riots. “Vajpayee’s conscience was forcing him to follow Rajdharma and remove Modi. But this could not be done because of other rightist-minded people. The same Modi is now dreaming to become PM,” Lalu said.

People must ensure this does not happen, he said. Modi’s sins will not be washed away in Varanasi and forces working for peace would emerge victorious, Lalu said. When he became chief minister, Lalu said, his aim was to protect the country from the evil forces of communalism and ensure justice to the have-nots. He reminded people it was he who had stopped Advani’s rath.

Lalu countered Modi’s efforts to woo Yadavs saying he (Lalu) was the true Ahir (Yadav). He wooed Muslims by saying Hindus and Muslims contributed equally and sacrificed for the country.

He accused the BJP and JD(U) of playing friendly matches in 10 seats and warned Muslims that Nitish had fielded a Muslim candidate, Salim Parvej, to divide Muslim votes. He said Nitish was his creation but had he known he would play into the hands of the BJP he would never have allowed Nitish to prosper. Lalu also criticised his former ally and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan for going back to the NDA and said his future was sealed.

The RJD president assured he would make every contract job permanent. Earlier, talking to reporters on the collectorate premises, he appeared to be questioning Narendra Modi’s manliness when he said he did not know why Jashodaben left Modi.

He enjoyed garlanding Rabri Devi and said he was doing it after years of marriage. He took the 3,000-strong crowd’s permission to garland Rabri. He said: “Love marriages do not last long, divorce becomes imperative after some years. The same happened with the BJP and JD(U)’s love marriage,” he said.

Saran seat has witnessed fierce rivalry between the Yadavs and Rajputs. Lalu had twice defeated BJP leader Rajeev Pratap Rudi. This time, too, Rudi is the BJP candidate.


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