Rashtriya Janata Dal national president and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav on Thursday called for a separate Poorvanchal state in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
"Poorvanchal is adjacent to Bihar, and has always been neglected by the ‘rulers’ in Lucknow,” he lamented.
The RJD chief talking to mediapersons. He was in the city as part of his election tour of Uttar Pradesh.
Yadav said the state could be governed well if Poorvanchal was separated from Uttar Pradesh.
“The headquarters could either be in Varanasi or Gorakhpur,” he said.
The RJD chief said his party had decided to contest 60 seats and support either the Congress or Beni Prasad Verma’s alliance in the remaining constituencies.
Beni Prasad and his allies have decided to extend support to the Congress in the first three phases of the assembly election.
Criticising the UP Government, the RJD chief said Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav was running the state as a corporate house at the behest of Amar Singh.
“It’s pathetic that Mulayam seeks votes from the poor but works only for a moneyed few.” He blamed Amar Singh for the “mess” and said the chief minister was obsessed with Bollywood and only believed in holding shows for artistes from the glamour world in his home town Saifai.
The minister said the BJP and the SP were hand in glove. He alleged the leaders of the two parties were in touch with each other over “cell phones” before finalising candidates.
Lalu Yadav compared Mulayam to a banyan tree, “which does not allow small trees under its shadow to grow”.
He further said the chief minister was trying to gain sympathy from the people by claiming that there was a threat to his life.
“He (Mulayam) need not worry about going to jail, we will go with snacks and meet him there,” he said.
Lalu Yadav claimed that as the railway minister he had undertaken crores of projects in UP, given the State 12 new trains, and extended several trains to meet the demand of the people.
Turning to cricket, the RJD chief demanded a CBI probe into India’s loss to Bangladesh in the World Cup.
He also said the sport was revolving around three states.
Driving his point home, he said, “If Sachin is dropped, people from Mumbai will protest, if Ganguly is dropped, people from Kolkata will stand up for Dada, and if any player from Karnataka is dropped, then people there will protest.”
“This is not good for the cricket, and it’s entirely against the sportsman’s spirit,” he rued. Lalu Yadav is also president of the Bihar Cricket Association.
On the BJP CD, he said that makers of the CD should be booked for criminal offence and the BJP should be de-recognised for airing provocative dialogues. Lalu said he would take up the issue with the UPA Government in New Delhi.