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I want to become PM for sure: Lalu

"But I will do that without any quarrel or fuss. Our people are the chief judges," he tells a TV channel.

india Updated: Nov 11, 2006 16:29 IST

RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who has received copious praise of late for his performance as railway minister, says he would for sure like to become the country's prime minister.

"Haan banna hai... Pacca banna hai... Bina jhagra jhanjhat se banna hai lekinbanna hai... Apna kam kariye... the basic judge are the people, our country's people (Yes I want to become the prime minister for sure. But I will do that without any quarrel or fuss. Our people are the chief judges)," he told Vir Sanghvi during a one-on-one show for a private news channel.

He was asked whether he could become prime minister.

The railway minister, however, refused to offer a guess on how long it would take for him to get to the top post.

"Kaun janta hai kab kaun kya ban jayega (who knows when somebody may becomesomeone important)... Ham sab sochte rehte hain, kam karte raho, mauka milega toho jayega (we keep thinking... keep working... It will happen when the opportunity arrives," he said when asked how many years he would give himself to become the prime minister.

In the interview, Prasad said he had also wanted to become the home minister in the UPA government, but "some difficulty" led him being given the Railway portfolio.

"I am not disappointed (for not getting the home ministry), it was my choice... Hamari dilchaspi thi ki is desh ko sahi dhang se law and order... Aur is desh koaur government ko agar chalana hai to law aur mazboot hona chahiye (I wanted that the country should have a strong law and order mechanism)...," he said.

But Yadav, whose party has lost power in Bihar, blamed its loss was due tothe division of secular votes.

"... There were secular brothers, secular forces like Ram Vilas Paswan, CPI, CPM, RJD, Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav... The vote was split... And due to the split they (JD-U-BJP) won," he said when asked to explain why he lost the state elections.

The RJD leader claimed that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar lacked mass support in the state. "He (Kumar) is junior to me. I know him very well. He is nothing. He is a zero. ... He has no mass support," Prasad said.

The former Bihar chief minister claimed Sharad Yadav and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, then his party colleagues, had not wanted him to arrest BJP leader LK Advani during his rath yatra to Ayodhya in 1990.

"Abhi uss time Sharad ka phone aaya (At that time, Sharad rang me up). ... Mein samajhta hun ki Mufti Mohammad Sahab ne (bhi mujhe phone kiya (I think Mufti Mohammad also called me up," he said.

"... Because they were in power and aadmi power ke liye nahin chahta kijhanjhat ho...," the RJD chief said when asked to name the two ministers he insisted had not wanted him to arrest Advani when he was Bihar chief minister.

Prasad denied then Prime Minister VP Singh's claims in his book that he had ordered him to arrest Advani, who was on his way to Ayodhya via Bihar.

"Yeh kehna ki Lalu ko maine (VP Singh) ne kaha arrest karne ke liye, yeh sachnahin hai (This is not true that he told me to arrest Advani)," he said.

He claimed that officials declined to carry out his orders until Singh gave the "go-ahead" to arrest Advani.

"... Some people, now they are claiming themselves to be secular, and two gentlemen... I will not mention their name... Those were ministers here... They ring me why you are going to arrest Advani, what you have to do, let him allow... let him... Allow him to go to Uttar Pradesh... Then I chat with them," Prasad said before identifying the two ministers he referred to as Sharad Yadav and Sayeed.

First Published: Nov 11, 2006 14:02 IST