'Nitish will do same to Modi': Tejashwi's big claim ahead of Lok Sabha polls

Jun 09, 2023 06:05 AM IST

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who dumped the BJP last year, has since been calling for a "united opposition" to take on the NDA in the Lok Sabha polls.

As Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar intensifies his effort to forge a united opposition ahead of the crucial 2024 Lok Sabha polls, his deputy Tejashwi Yadav on Thursday claimed that the state's ruling grand alliance would stop “Narendra Modi's chariot” like his father Lalu Prasad had halted “Advani's yatra.” The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader accused the ruling BJP at the Centre of “failing to fulfil promises” and “raising the “Hindu versus Muslim” binary whenever its shortcomings were pointed out.

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi. (Photo by Santosh Kumar / Hindustan Times)
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi. (Photo by Santosh Kumar / Hindustan Times)

"Be it Hindus, Muslims or any other religious community, all had fought for the country's Independence," said Yadav, adding that “we hear outrageous remarks from some quarters, suggesting that Muslims be deprived of their voting rights.”

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"But rest assured, as long as leaders like Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar are around, nobody can dare do anything of the sort….. The country is not the property of anybody's father," said Yadav, evoking wild applause.

"Lalu had stopped the rath (chariot) of L K Advani. Now, the 'Mahagathbandhan', led by Nitish Kumar, will stop the rath of (Narendra Modi)," said the Bihar deputy CM.

Tejashwi was speaking at a function in Patna organised by the state's handloom weavers' cooperative union.

In 1990, then Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav shot to fame by halting Lal Krishna Advani's nationwide ‘rath yatra’ in Sitamarhi district at the peak of the Ramjanmabhoomi movement. From the states the ‘rath yatra’ passed, several incidents of communal violence had been reported.

Referring to Kumar's opposition unity drive, Tejashwi said they were trying to ensure that Congress and regional parties come together.

"If these people (BJP) return to power, this country will be ruined," he said.

Yadav alleged that attempts were being made to rewrite the country's history.

"It seems as if a dictator is in the seat of power and we are compelled to obey his commands. The Constitution is being tinkered with. Nothing worthwhile has been achieved," he claimed.

“Promises had been made (by those in power) like two crore jobs, 15 lakh in every bank account, doubling of farmers' incomes by the year 2022….. none of these was fulfilled. When we raise questions on these failed promises, they try to divert public attention by talking about Hindus versus Muslims, temples versus mosques," the RJD leader said.

The much-anticipated strategy meeting of Opposition parties for 2024 will take place in Patna on June 23 in which Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and senior party leader Rahul Gandhi are also expected to participate.

(With PTI inputs)

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