Lalu eats his ‘roller’ remark, faces FIR
The latest politician to be charged with making a hate speech, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, insisted that, in the parts of the address that had riled his opponents, he had been speaking figuratively and should not be taken literally.india Updated: Apr 07, 2009 22:57 IST
The latest politician to be charged with making a hate speech — Railway Minister Lalu Prasad — insisted on Tuesday that, in the parts of the address that had riled his opponents, he had been speaking figuratively and should not be taken literally. In a speech at the Muslim dominated town of Kishanganj on Monday, Lalu had declared that had he been union home minister he would have crushed Varun Gandhi under a road roller for his anti Muslim utterances.
Varun, currently in jail for his alleged inflammatory speeches, was booked under the National Security Act.
Lalu clarified that when he referred to a ‘road roller’, he had not actually envisaged using one. “What I meant was that the steamroller of the law should be used against such persons, no matter how important or powerful they are.”
Apart from leaders of other parties, notably the BJP, complaining to the Election Commission, the district authorities also lodged an FIR against Lalu on Tuesday.
“I’ve watched the CD of Lalu’s speech,” said Firaque Ahmed, district magistrate of Kishenganj. “I have no doubt he has tried to create communal disturbance.” “Nobody is above the law,” said Ram Narain Singh, district SP, adding, however, that no warrant against Lalu had been issued.
The BJP went further demanding Lalu be dropped from the Cabinet. “How can a person who makes such a remark continue as chief minister?” asked Arun Jaitley, BJP general secretary. “It reflects the lumpenisation of the government.”
Curiously, while the BJP complained against Lalu, CM Nitish Kumar, whose JD(U) is the BJP’s ally in the state, echoed rival Lalu’s view on Varun. “I would have taken legal action against Varun,” he told a television channel. “Such remarks are a crime under the law.”
The Congress too hit out at Lalu: “The manner in which Lalu Prasadji has expressed his view does not befit the dignity and traditions of democracy,” said spokesperson Ashwini Kumar.