The BJP and the Janata Dal(United) do not have candidates for the Lok Sabha elections and that’s why the two parties are importing them, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad said on Saturday.
On the contrary, he said, the RJD was the first party to declare its candidates and begin campaigning, he said at a press conference here.
Prominent RJD leaders Ram Kripal Yadav and Ghulam Ghaus have joined the BJP and the JD(U) respectively. Mr. Yadav is taking on Mr. Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti in Patliputra. On Saturday, Akhtar-ul-Iman, one of the 13 MLAs who broke away from the RJD recently, joined the JD(U). He is likely to contest from Kishanganj.
Referring to Mr. Yadav’s defection, Mr. Prasad said: “He went and touched the feet of Rajnath Singh, C.P. Thakur and Sushil Modi [BJP leaders]. By this, he placed the dignity of the poor at their feet. In the struggle for social justice, he did not do the right thing. We thought he was a good person.”
Dismissing the claim of a “wave” in favour of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, Mr. Prasad said. “He has lost steam. No wave can sustain itself before the strength of the poor. All the [pre-poll] surveys are sponsored.”
The RJD leader asked: “What right does the BJP have to ask for vote in Bihar when it has a tie-up with the Shiv Sena, whose members beat up so many Biharis in Maharashtra? The people of Bihar are secular and politically conscious. They know that he BJP is not a party but a front for the Sangh Parivar.”
Does he feel the absence of his old ally and Lok Jan Shakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan, who has now joined hands with the BJP? Mr. Prasad replied: “It is sad that he has ruined his career. People will see that he has changed his position.”
Mr. Prasad also announced the candidature of his personal secretary Vindo Srivastav for East Champaran.