BJP should know ‘I am like Angad, not one to run away’, says Lalu
RJD leader alleged that BJP is trying to defame regional leaders by implicating them in corruption cases.india Updated: Jun 13, 2017 09:46 IST
PATNA: Days after I-T carried out raids in connection with alleged assets worth crores amassed by RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his family members, the Bihar strongman came out all guns blazing against PM Narendra Modi accusing him of indulging in a witchhunt against regional leaders in his bid to break the opposition and prevent their unity. He also dared the central tax agency to disclose the locations raided by it on May 16.
“I, my wife and my children have all along stayed in Patna. Give us the proof of where the raids were conducted. The hype about the I-T raids is just a part of the ploy to defame me and tarnish our public image,” Prasad said, adding that the I-T action was a futile exercise aimed at intimidating him for his call to unite secular forces to fight the BJP-led NDA in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“BJP is rattled by the growing frustration among youths and opposition unity in the country. But I will not allow PM Modi to sleep peacefully. We will join hands to oust him from power in 2019,” he said, referring to his proposed August 27 rally of opposition parties in Patna to forge a new secular front.
He said BJP was playing the same trick of defaming other regional leaders like AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, BSP chief Mayawati and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee by implicating them in corruption cases.
“I am not the one to run away as my foot is firmly set on the ground like Angad (the mythological monkey prince whose feet could not be moved by mighty demons),” he said.
There was an air of defiance in Prasad’s interaction with the media today as he brushed off suggestions of acquiring property worth Rs 1000 crore, including a mall in Patna, through dubious means, as alleged by BJP. “Every detail of property owned by me and my family is declared in I-T returns. Nothing is hidden. There has been no scam. Yes, my family’s company has share in the mall,” he said.
He also sounded terse when asked about the reopening of trial against him in the fodder scam cases by a Supreme Court order, saying he was not the one to be cowed down by legal tangles and would face it boldly. Prasad recalled how he had won in a DA case in SC, even as his conviction in a fodder scam case was in appeal in the high court.
Veering to politics, Prasad went about Narendra Modi bashing, accusing the PM of divisive politics and stoking fanaticism in the name of cow protection, triple talaq and Ram Mandir issues to hide his failures in three years after his promises of giving employment, assuring economic growth and repatriation of black money from abroad.
“PM Modi desh ka dushman hai aur desh ka tukra karna chahata hai (Modi wants to break the nation),” he said, adding how the BJP’s claim of the surgical strike and protecting interests of soldiers was a big sham.
“It’s for the first time that Pakistani flags have been flying high in J&K while bodies of soldiers are being mutilated. Has stone pelting and Naxalism stopped after demonetisation?” he asked.
Prasad claimed that defeating BJP was not an impossible task as the saffron outfit had only taken advantage of opposition disunity post disintegration of UPA allies before 2014. He also attributed the BJP’s landslide victory in the UP polls recently to the family feud in the Samajwadi Party and dissension within the BSP, saying a realignment of all secular forces in Bihar, UP, West Bengal and Punjab would help vanquish the saffron brigade in the 2019 elections.
“I have asked Congress president Sonia Gandhi to lead the way,” he said. Recently, Prasad had called up Gandhi to invite her to the rally to initiate a Congress-led secular front, with Mamata and Mayawati likely to share the dais.
The hype about IT raids is just a part of the ploy to defame me and tarnish our public image. It is a futile exercise to intimidate me for my call to unite secular forces to fight the BJP led NDA in 2019 polls
Lalu Prasad, RJD president
First Published: May 19, 2017 18:50 IST