Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad on Tuesday said that the 2024 Lok Sabha election will be a do-or-die battle to remove Prime Minister Narendra Modi and save the country.
Urging the members of the Opposition INDIA bloc to “stay united and intact” for the purpose, Lalu revealed that there could be several conveners in the alliance to ensure its smooth functioning.
“The 2024 polls are going to be like do or die. Modi hatao, desh bachao (Remove Modi, save the country) is our call for it. Our aim is to save democracy and the Constitution. Inflation and unemployment are at their zenith here. Ladyfinger is Rs 60 per kg and tomato at Rs 300 a kg,” the RJD chief told a Hindi news channel.
Lalu asserted that Modi is so worried about the Opposition closing ranks and forming INDIA to take on the BJP that he has started saying meaningless things. “The public elects the Prime Minister, but Modi is declaring that he will hoist the national flag at the Red Fort in Delhi in 2024. This shows that he is perturbed. Where is the question of him becoming the Prime Minister? Where are the votes? We are going to campaign all over the country against the BJP,” Lalu added.
On INDIA’s future course of action in the context of its next meeting in Mumbai on August 31 and September 1, the RJD chief said: “A formula for the distribution of seats will be decided at the meeting. We will take into account the presence of various parties in various places.”
On whether Bihar chief minister and JDU leader Nitish Kumar will be made the convener of the alliance at the next meeting, Lalu said that there could be several conveners.
“A convener will be appointed with everybody’s consent. There could be several conveners in the alliance. There could be one convener for every three or four states. They will talk to other leaders in those states and sort things out,” Lalu added.
The RJD chief parried questions on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi becoming the Prime Ministerial candidate of the Opposition and said all the allies will meet and decide on the issue or elect the appropriate person.
Lalu and his wife and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi are on a visit to his native Phulwaria village in Gopalganj district. They also went to the Devi temple at Thawe to pray.
“See, we do more puja (prayers) than them (the BJP). They misused the name of Lord Hanuman and he thrashed them with his mace,” Lalu said.
Rabri said she and her family “will not bow before the BJP due to the pressure of cases and the CBI’s move for the cancellation of Lalu’s bail”. Lalu is a convict in the fodder scam cases and is currently out on bail.
“We are not the people who could be cowed down. We do not back down. We are fighters. We fight for the people and the people will fight for us. We are going to fight. We will not retreat. Let them (the BJP-led government at the Centre) send us wherever they want to,” Rabri said.