Lalu Prasad is a big leader, can’t comment on his remarks, says Bhakta Charan Das

Earlier, Das had alleged that the RJD was hand in gloves with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said that it won’t be surprising if both the parties team up to form the next government by dumping Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) after the by-elections.
All India Congress Committee Bihar in-charge Bhakta Charan Das (HT File)
All India Congress Committee Bihar in-charge Bhakta Charan Das (HT File)
Published on Oct 24, 2021 10:44 PM IST
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BySubhash Pathak, Patna

All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of Bihar, Bhakta Charan Das, on Sunday gave a polite but telling response to the remark on him by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad.

“Lalu Prasad is a big leader and I have always had great respect for him. But I am not capable of responding to his remarks on me the way he has made it,” he said, making it clear that he would not like to let the war of words degenerate further.

Talking to HT over the phone in the midst of campaigning in Tarapur assembly constituency, Das said Prasad had been the voice of Dalits and deprived sections and he had acquired a bigger stature in politics. “The culture of Congress prohibits me to reply to the comments of Prasad,” added the AICC leader.

Earlier, he had alleged that the RJD was hand in gloves with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said that it won’t be surprising if both the parties team up to form the next government by dumping Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) after the by-elections.

Das claimed that the RJD chose to bruise the political dignity by dumping the decades-old coalition with the Congress and walked out of the united front against communal forces only after it reached some kind of an understanding with the BJP.

Rubbishing the allegations that he opted out of the coalition owing to his ‘little understanding of political pulse of Bihar’, Das clarified the Congress never betrayed the RJD. “It was the RJD, which dumped the coalition by fielding their candidates on both the seats without consulting the Congress. That was an assault on the self-respect of the party’s 19 legislators. It made the Congress to decide which way it should go,” said Das.

Regarding his understanding of the state politics, Das said he took the plunge into social and political activities from Bihar. “It was Bihar that made me the national convener of Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Vahini and I fought for the rights of land of Bodh Gaya. Soon after taking over as the AICC in-charge, I toured 36 out of 38 districts of Bihar, carried out padyatras and met thousands of grassroot-level workers of the Congress. I served the people of Odisha as MLA, MP and minister in the Union Cabinet. Still, some people have doubts about my ability, but that’s their problem,” said the Congress leader.

To a query whether the Congress was expecting too much from the joining of former JNUSU leader Kanhaiya Kumar, Das said that it was not like that. “Kanhaiya Kumar has been born out of agitation. There is spark in him which can guide the youth, like I did it to ensure the rights of deprived and poor people in Kalahandi and settlers of jungles. Kanhaiya represents the same philosophy. Kanhaiya is not an individual, but an inspiration for the talented youth deprived of opportunities and self-confidence,” said the AICC leader, adding that hundreds of youths had been working in the fields to ensure victory of the Congress nominees, Atirek Kumar and Rajesh Mishra, in the bypoll fray.

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Monday, December 06, 2021