Lalu calls Opposition rally in August, son Tejashwi takes center-stage in RJD
RJD chief Lalu Prasad said here on Wednesday he would convene an all India rally of parties opposed to the BJP-led government at the centre, at Patna in August, as a show of strength and for unity of all anti-BJP parties.
Speaking on the concluding day of the two-day RJD meet at Rajgir, about 100 km south east of state capital, Patna, Prasad said, opposition unity would be the theme he would pursue henceforth, leading up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
However, the meet served more as a platform to showcase Prasad’s son, deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, as the new leader of the party, who was entrusted with the task of spelling out the RJD electoral strategy for the 2019 poll.
Speaking at the meet, Yadav said the RSS-backed BJP was all set for the roll out of a “far more dangerous” agenda and party workers, particularly the youth, should prepare themselves to “defeat their design” by leveraging the principles of social justice and equity.
“We don’t have the time to rest on our 2015 laurels. We have to rediscover our capacity to take on divisive forces. At the same time, party workers also need to understand ploys and tricks of BJP propaganda machine to be battle ready to save the country”, he added.
The deputy CM said, “The task of saving the country is bigger than defeating the BJP. For this, we need to stand up against the attempt to trample our hard-earned rights (quota) and also establish direct communication with the people whose rights are at peril and for whom we are fighting for”.
He said: “Their ploy of riding with Gandhi and Godse on the same boat, cannot go hand in hand,” he said, adding “those in the habit of running down Gandhi, Ambedkar and Lohia cannot succeed in the drama of adopting them.”
Apparently aware that the support of OBCs, dalits and minorities to the RJD had suffered some erosion as Yadavs cornered more and more space in the party, Yadav recalled his father’s saying: that Yadavs are the engine to pull along others, like train compartments, towards their destination - development of all.
“We need to bring back people back into our fold to hand them (the BJP) a crushing defeat. For accommodating aspirations of various sections, we will have to make some sacrifices too. It will pave way for the emergence of a new leadership, which will take the fight forward”, the RJD scion said.
“We must also start using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to proactively take on BJP’s Bihar bashing and misinformation campaign,” he said, pointing that the RJD chief’s Twitter account had already hit the one million follower mark.
Stating that the BJP was out to demoralize regional parties, he said that RJD chief has initiated talks for bringing all national and regional leaders on one platform.
Rebutting the oft-repeated charge that the RJD chief pursued ‘pariwarwad’, Yadav said, “No one can claim to be a single heir of RJD chief’s legacy. All of you have an equal share. The party has tried to honour everyone who stood by it through the thick and thin. It will remain this way.”