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Lalu: RJD committed to all-round social inclusion

Shoumojit Banerjee

— Photo: Ranjeet Kumar

RJD chief Lalu Prasad presenting a lantern, the party symbol, to the former JD(U) leader, Birendra Choudhary, who joined the RJD in Patna on Saturday.

Patna: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad on Saturday said that his party was committed to all-round social inclusion and would not discriminate between the interests of any particular caste.

Talking to journalists, Mr. Prasad hit out at his opponents and accused them of spreading false propaganda about him being prejudiced towards the interests of the higher classes while using the minorities and the lower castes to achieve his political ends. “It is a myth that I have only worked for the benefit of the Muslims and the Yadavs. The interests of the upper castes are foremost in my mind as well.”

“For repeatedly telling people not to hurt our Muslim brothers, certain politicians have accused me of converting Bihar into a Pakistan or a Bangladesh,” said Mr. Prasad, commenting that he had always “checked the spread of communal hatred” when he was the Chief Minister.

Charging Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with nepotism, Mr. Prasad said, Mr. Kumar had filled all top administrative posts in the Sate government with members from the Kurmi caste (Mr. Kumar's caste), while ignoring the interests of the deprived sections of society.

Mr. Prasad further remarked that he had never held a ‘Yadav' rally, unlike Mr. Kumar, whom had held a Kurmi ‘Maha Chetna' some years ago.

Accusing Mr. Kumar and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA government of plundering crores of rupees in Central government schemes, Mr. Prasad pronounced the CAG report as the most authentic piece of evidence.

Mr. Prasad also attacked the Congress by accusing them of denying rights to women from the backward sections by approving the Women's Reservation Bill in the present form.

He reiterated his stance advocating compulsory caste enumeration for Census 2011 stating that the Adivasis, minorities and the backward classes could only progress if there was any concrete data available on their numbers.

Meanwhile, the Congress has also stepped up its propaganda campaign for countering the RJD and the NDA alliance.

Informed sources in the party told The Hindu that in anticipation of Congress president Sonia Gandhi's visit to Bihar in the third week of August, about 500 hoardings in Patna city, and a 100 in each of the 534 blocks across the State, were being put up. Each hoarding would feature an “anti-Lalu” theme, based on Fodder scam and an “anti-Nitish” theme, based on alleged multi-crore “irregularities” on the part of the NDA government in Central flagship schemes.

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