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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Lalu ‘pulls up’ home minister Rajnath for ’ditching’ Patna meet

Home minister last minute decision to stay away from an official function to felicitate freedom fighters came in for sharp criticism.

patna Updated: Apr 17, 2017 20:12 IST
Rai Atul Krishna
Rai Atul Krishna
Hindustan Times, Patna
RJD president Lalu Prasad speaking at the centenary celebration of Champaran Satyagrah in Patna on Monday.
RJD president Lalu Prasad speaking at the centenary celebration of Champaran Satyagrah in Patna on Monday. (A P Dube / HT)

In a style that is entirely his own, RJD chief Lalu Prasad, on Monday, ‘admonished’ union home minister Rajnath Singh for not turning up at a state government function to felicitate freedom fighters, after having consented to attend it.

“If you don’t want to come, don’t come. But if you did not want to come, why did you give your consent?” asked Prasad, president of Bihar’s ruling ‘grand alliance’ senior partner, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

Singh’s office had apparently informed a section of the Bihar leadership of his party, the BJP, that the home minister had decided not to attend the Patna function because it had been ‘politicised’.

Prasad also promised not to allow ‘Godse culture’, a reference to the man who had assassinated Gandhi in 1948, to flourish in the country and said he would not tolerate those ‘Who pay lip service to Gandhiji’.

The RJD chief said India was at a crossroads and urged the ‘jawan’ (young) among the freedom-fighters assembled for the event to guide the country at this time of crisis. “Those who had no role in India’s freedom struggle are now misleading the country”, he said.

Prasad said Bihar’s ruling ‘grand alliance’ – comprising the RJD, JD (U) and Congress, had been formed to “save India of Gandhi’s dreams”. The alliance had won 178 out of of total 243 seats in the November 2015 Bihar assembly poll.

Prasad said the issue of triple talaq had been raised to divert public attention from real issues facing the country. “Moves are afoot to change the constitution and to scrap job reservations”, he claimed.

Amid suggestions of a growing rift between Bihar ruling alliance partners, the RJD and JD (U), the RJD chief also gave his ‘ashirwad’ (blessings) to CM Kumar, to carry on and take Bihar forward.

First Published: Apr 17, 2017 20:12 IST

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