Lalu elated with success of Bihar shutdown | patna | Hindustan Times
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Lalu elated with success of Bihar shutdown

patna Updated: Jan 29, 2010 15:56 IST
Lalu Yadav

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasasd is elated over what he says was the overwhelming success of the state-wide shutdown called by his party to protest rising prices of essential items.

"Yes, we are happy. After all, people's anger was evident with the total success of the shutdown," Lalu Prasad told IANS here Friday.

He vowed to expose, along with the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Left parties, the "double standards" of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Bihar.

"People, particularly poorest of the poor Mahadalits, are dying of hunger and government schemes are not reaching them due to rampant corruption. But Nitish Kumar is busy talking about 'Shining Bihar'. It has angered the people," he said.

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi called the shutdown, during which protestors marched on the streets and frequently attacked motorists, as another form of terror. He warned the people of the "return of jungle raj" -- a clear reference to the 15 years Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi ruled Bihar.

RJD leaders see a ray of hope ahead of assembly polls due in November. Until recently, the RJD was seen as a spent force.

Political analyst Satyanarain Madan said that Lalu-Rabri had, for the first time, made a political mark by organising a near total shutdown after losing power in 2005 in Bihar.

According to police reports from different districts, nearly 12,000 workers and leaders of the RJD were arrested during the shutdown and later released.

Lalu Prasad, Rabri Devi and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan were arrested along with dozens of other leaders in Patna.

The shutdown was also supported by the Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India-Marxist and Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist.

In September last year, the RJD-LJP alliance surprised all when they performed better than expected in the by-elections to 18 assembly seats in Bihar. The alliance bagged nine seats while the ruling coalition won just five.