It was the union Railway minister Laloo Prasad Yadav who runs the show all the way in the poll campaign in the by-election of Ramtek Lok Sabha in Nagpur on Friday.
The union minister, who air-dashed this morning to campaign for the Congress nominee, Subodh Mohite addressed over half a dozen meetings and all the poll campaigns saw a very large turn out, despite an unbearable summer in the region.
The chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, the union minister of state for Civil Aviation, Praful Patel, the RPI leader, Ramdas Athawale and others had accompanied Laloo in all the meetings. However, almost all the meetings featured loud hooting and booing from the public when others tried to speak in the meetings. “We have come here only to listen Laloo, wind up your speech,” was the respond from the gatherings.
When the Maharashtra minister, Anil Deshmukh, a cousin of the Congress rebel, Ranjit Deshmukh, tried to clarify at Katol--- a native village of Ranjit--- that he was not with the Congress rebel and people should vote for the Congress, audience was not ready to listen him. The Maharashtra minister was virtually forced to wind up the meeting so that Laloo can speak.
It was his typical Bihari style of speech that the union minister mesmerized listeners.
“You have to select one from the two--- one leads a path shown by Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi) and other believes in rioting and sectarian politics,” he said.
Lashing out at the BJP over the controversial CD brought out by its Uttar Pradesh unit in the elections, Yadav said that the saffron brigade was again trying to divide the country by showing such CD. He said that the election commission had also taken action against the party for the contents in the CD on Babri issue and Godhra train fire. “Why people should vote for such communal party?” he asked.