After enforcing a Bihar bandh against price rise, RJD chief Lalu Prasad is now all set to head towards border posts along the Indo-Nepal border to check 'rampant smuggling' of essential goods like foodgrain, vegetable oil, salt and sugar to neighbouring countries.
Lalu believes smuggling of essential goods to Nepal and Bangladesh by hoarders along the bordering areas is the main reason of price rise. "My presence and campaign would bring down the prices," he said.
"I will camp along with party workers at various check posts along the 710-km Indo-Nepal border and check the outflow of goods be it at Raxaul, Araria, Bargania and Kishanganj soon. I will expose the state government's failure in checking hoarding and launch a crackdown against unscrupulous traders," Lalu said on Saturday.
If that is RJD new action plan, Lalu's march to the borders coming close on the heels on AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi's visit to north Bihar and Seemanchal assumes significance.
It's felt Lalu, who is cut off with the Congress, wants to go for a mass contact programme in muslim-dominated pockets and RJD's stronghold in Darbhnaga-Champaran belt to retain its vote bank and arrest the euphoria of a Congress revival in the region. Of late, RJD has lost much ground in Seemanchal owing to the muslim minorities tilting towards the grand old party in recent elections.
However, today the RJD chief preferred to parry questions on Rahul's visit to Bihar even as he refused to comment on the internal wrangling within the JD (U) in view of state party president Lallan's Singh offering to resign. " Price rise is affecting the common man. We will soon launch a nation wide stir with regional parties," Lalu said, adding that he would soon write to Union home minister P Chidamabaram to highlight the rampant smuggling and the alleged failure of the Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) in checking the clandestine trade.
Citing instances, he said processed dalda from Nepal was being sold in Bihar markets openly, despite restriction on the trade. "Does Nepal manufacture Dalda? It's all going from Bihar and coming back at a higher price," Lalu said, refusing to comment on why his RJD government had failed to check the old practice. The RJD chief also snubbed deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi for claiming that centre had denied sugar allocation to Bihar. "So what was he doing for last six months? Why does not he take up the issue with the centre," Lalu said.