The Telegraph
Thursday , October 8 , 2015

Lalu wears cases on heart

- RJD boss brushes off poll complaints, remains resilient

Lalu Prasad

Patna, Oct. 7: Lalu Prasad refused to be bogged down in legal hurdles on Wednesday and dubbed the Election Commission cases against him as decorations.

The RJD chief, before leaving for Samastipur, stressed he would continue to speak for the cause of the downtrodden sections of society come what may.

" Yeh cases se mera shobha badhti hai (Such cases are like decorations for me)," Lalu said when asked about the cases lodged against him on the instructions of the Election Commission.

On Tuesday, the poll panel had ordered two FIRs against the RJD chief for using indecent language against BJP president Amit Shah. Two cases had been lodged against Lalu in Patna and Jamui districts for calling Shah a narbhakchhi (man-eater).

Ahead of leaving for Samastipur to address public meetings in seven constituencies going to the polls on October 12, Lalu said the cases against him did not matter. The RJD chief insisted he was in for a battle with the BJP, which wants to snatch the rights of the downtrodden people by starting a debate on a review of reservation.

On Lalu's campaign schedule for Wednesday were the constituencies Morwa, Samastipur, Ujiarpur, Sarai Ranjan, Mohiuddinnagar, Rosera and Hasanpur in Samastipur district.

Leaving for the district, around 110km northeast of Patna, Lalu ridiculed yoga televangelist Ramdev for attacking him on his "Hindus also eat beef" reaction to the Dadri tragedy.

On Saturday, before accompanying Tejaswi to Hajipur to file his nomination papers, Lalu had said: "Those who eat meat regularly consume any kind of meat and it does not matter to them at all. Hindus too eat beef. They eat beef when they move abroad..." Ramdev had attacked Lalu on Tuesday, calling the RJD chief a descendent of Kans, the evil uncle of Lord Krishna.

Lalu hit out: "I was the person who had saved Ramdev's face when Left leader Brinda Karat said he mixes animal bone in this medicine. I had said that if anyone mixes anything to cure something, there is nothing wrong."

He added: "Now, the same person is issuing statements against me, it shows that he has derailed (from the tracks). He is no saint too, he is just doing business by marketing his medicine."

Addressing an election meeting in Lakhisarai, BJP president Shah attacked chief minister Nitish Kumar and Lalu for spreading "delusion" on the reservation issue in the wake of RSS chief Mohanrao Bhagwat's "review reservation" comment.

"As a BJP president who will know the RSS better - me or Lalu Prasad or Nitish Kumar? ... I have stated clearly that the BJP does not believe in any kind of change in reservation in jobs," PTI reported Shah as saying, while backing Prem Ranjan Patel, the candidate in Suryagarha in Lakhisarai district, about 125km from Patna.

Shah went to Samastipur during the day, apart from Munger, Lakhisarai and Sheikhpura.

He also questioned Nitish and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's "silence" on Lalu's beef comment.

"Why are Nitish Kumar and Rahul Gandhi silent on Lalu Prasad's comment that there is no difference between beef and goat meat... Silence will not do. They have to make public whether they agree with his view or not," Shah said in Lakhisarai.

Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi also attacked the RJD boss on Twitter over the issues. He said Lalu did not rear cows out of respect but to hide his black money from the fodder scam.

The BJP has planned to approach the Election Commission against the Begusarai district magistrate for registering an FIR against Shah. On instructions of the poll panel, an FIR has been lodged against the BJP president by the DM for the leader's " chara chor (fodder thief)" remark. The party maintains that Shah had not said anything wrong as Lalu has been convicted in a fodder scam.

The state unit has also demanded the state election commission to take action against chief minister Nitish Kumar. Bihar BJP in-charge Bhupender Yadav said: "Nitish Kumar during a public rally in Nawada on Tuesday said the BJP's politics revolves around creating tension between two communities."

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