Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad on Saturday said that his party was committed to all-round social inclusion and would not discriminate against any particular caste.
Talking to journalists here, Mr. Prasad hit out at his opponents and accused them of spreading false propaganda that he was prejudiced against the upper classes while using the minorities and lower castes to achieve his political ends. “It is a myth that I have only worked for the benefit of the Muslims and the Yadavs. The interests of the upper castes are foremost in my mind as well.”
“For repeatedly telling people not to hurt our Muslim brothers, certain politicians have accused me of converting Bihar into a Pakistan or a Bangladesh,” said Mr. Prasad. As Chief Minister he had always “checked the spread of communal hatred.”
Charging Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with nepotism, Mr. Prasad said, Mr. Kumar had filled all top administrative posts in government with members from his Kurmi caste (Mr. Kumar’s caste), while ignoring the interests of the deprived sections of society.
Mr. Prasad said he had never held a ‘Yadav’ rally, unlike Mr. Kumar, who had held a Kurmi ‘Maha Chetna’ some years ago.
Accusing the National Democratic Alliance government of plundering crores in Central government schemes, Mr. Prasad said the CAG report was the most authentic piece of evidence.
Mr. Prasad also attacked the Congress, accusing it of denying rights to women from the backward sections by approving the Women’s Reservation Bill in its present form.
He reiterated his stance advocating compulsory caste enumeration for Census 2011 stating that Adivasis, minorities and the backward classes could progress only if there was any concrete data available on their numbers.
Meanwhile, the Congress has also stepped up its campaign for countering the RJD and the NDA alliance.
Informed sources in the party told The Hindu that in anticipation of Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s visit to Bihar in the third week of August, about 500 hoardings in Patna city, and a 100 in each of the 534 blocks across the State, were being put up. Each hoarding would feature an “anti-Lalu” theme, based on the Fodder scam and an “anti-Nitish” theme, based on alleged multicrore “irregularities” on the part of the NDA government in Central flagship schemes.