Bihar parties vie to claim Karpoori Thakur’s legacy

RJD supremo Lalu Prasad demanded the Bharat Ratna for him

January 24, 2017 11:58 pm | Updated 11:58 pm IST - Patna:

Police use water cannons to disperse Jan Adhikar Party workers during a protest   in Patna on Tuesday.

Police use water cannons to disperse Jan Adhikar Party workers during a protest in Patna on Tuesday.

Political parties in Bihar vied with each other on Tuesday to champion the legacy of former chief minister Karpoori Thakur on his birth anniversary in an effort to woo the Extremely Backward Classes (EBC).

While the JD(U) declared that he was the inspiration for its policy on prohibition and reservation in panchayats and judicial services, coalition partner RJD demanded that the former leader be conferred the Bharat Ratna. The BJP used the occasion to urge political parties to raise the quantum of reservation to 60 %.

“When Karpoori Thakur started the movement for reservation for the EBCs, the Jan Sangh was one of the four parties which opposed it…But, today I’m happy seeing them surrendering before the ideals and thoughts of Karpoori Thakur while celebrating his jayanti (birth anniversary),” Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said at a gathering at Patna’s S.K. Memorial Hall.

He further said his government has always strived to take forward Thakur’s mission. “Our government gave reservation to extremely backward people and women in panchayat and in judicial services…even the prohibition inspiration had come from Karpoori Thakur,” he added

At a separate event at the RJD headquarters, party chief Lalu Prasad said, “No one can forget the great socialist leader Karpoori Thakur’s contribution for the poor and deprived section of the society…he fought for their cause and we’re carrying forward his legacy…I demand Bharat Ratna award for him.”

At the BJP headquarters, party leaders claimed, “Karpoori Thakur became chief minister of Bihar twice with the help of the Jan Sangh.”

Meanwhile, protesting the exploitation of Karpoori Thakur’s name and legacy by political parties, leaders and workers of the Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) held a march near the Gandhi Maidan. The protestors led by party leader and Madhepura MP Pappu Yadav were lathi charged when they tried to cross a police picket. “All these political party leaders try to reap political and electoral benefit by celebrating Karpoori jayanti every year…they do not do anything for poor and deprived section of the society,” said Mr. Pappu Yadav.

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