Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad’s fresh reiteration of his keenness to write a book on the circumstances leading to BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani’s arrest during a Rath Yatra in 1990 and expose politicians who were opposed to the arrest of BJP veteran has aroused much political curiosity.
It is being seen as an attempt by Lalu to reinforce his secularist credentials and play afresh the communal card to strongly woo the Muslim minorities, who have of late tilted towards the Congress.
“Lalu’s book could be an interesting reading. But how serious the RJD chief is about the book is the big question. There is more to what meets the eye,” said a senior politician, who felt the RJD chief was only playing to the galleries.
Many feel, that regional players, like Lalu and Samwajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who emerged as icons of anti-communal forces, have lost a big political weapon due to the weakening of the BJP and now face the challenge of fighting the Congress, which has a traditional vote bank among the minority community.
The RJD chief, incidentally, talked of his proposed book at a meeting of Pasmanda Muslims in Patna on Monday, where he had exhorted the Muslims to support the RJD for a comeback to power in the assembly polls of 2010.
It’s not the first time that Lalu has talked of his book and threatened damaging revelations about opposition leaders.
A year back, he had created a flutter when he had talked of exposing the role of the Central Bureau of Investigation( CBI) in the AHD scam and also give his own version about how certain elements had defamed the 15 year rule in Bihar.
Said, JD(U) spokesperson and a former friend of Lalu, Shivanand Tiwary, “Advani’s arrest is an old chapter and much has been said about it. It’s not the first time Lalu has talked of writing a book on it. I feel, the RJD chief should concentrate on serious matters like taking up Bihar’s cause at the Centre instead of focussing on such trivial matters.”
Incidentally, there are many versions about Advani’s arrest with many of Lalu’s former political friends alleging that the RJD chief was himself quite ‘jittery’ about taking the big step of stopping the Rath Yatra in Bihar.
Lalu has refuted all such reports highlighting that he had kept the entire episode a top secret and put some trusted bureaucrats on the job to arrest Advani near the Gandhi Setu (after his meeting in Patna) and take the BJP veteran to Samastipur.