Other States

My regime was not jungle raj, says Lalu

Lalu Prasad. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

For the first time after over three-and-a-half years of incarceration, ailing Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad inaugurated the party’s 25th foundation day virtually from Delhi on Monday and asserted that “his regime was not jungle raj as is being projected by political rivals”.

In his nearly 30-minute address to party workers and leaders, the frail looking Mr. Prasad regretted that he was unable to be physically present among them because of his ill-health.

“My regime was not jungle raj as is projected by rivals. It was the rule of the poor. During the last Lok Sabha and assembly elections, I wanted to come out [of jail] but could not”, he said as party leaders, including his two legislator sons, and workers watched him on a large TV screen at the party headquarters in Patna.

He hailed party workers and commended both his sons for their oratory skills. “I want to assure the people that we’re not going to step back and will not be cowed down by the pressure and conspiracies of our political rivals. Tejashwi should not be discouraged, as the future of RJD is very bright and we’ll take the country ahead,” Mr. Prasad said taking short pauses between his speech.

The ailing RJD chief, who was convicted in several fodder scam cases, came out on bail recently and has been recuperating at the residence of his elder daughter and party Rajya Sabha MP Misa Bharti in New Delhi. He was sent to Ranchi central jail, but served most his sentence in a government hospital in Ranchi for multiple ailments. Recently, he was shifted to All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.

“If Tejashwi Yadav and Rabri Devi had not taken me to AIIMS in Delhi, I would have died in Ranchi. But I'll come to Patna soon and tour the State to meet everyone,” he said. He stressed that farmers, youth and students associated with the party should undergo “regular training”. “People believe that only the RJD can end the current problems.”

He accused the Nitish Kumar government of rampant corruption and mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis. “Every day, at least four murders take place in Bihar. Lakhs of people have been rendered jobless and reduced to being migrant labourers,” Mr. Prasad said.

Hitting out at the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, Mr. Prasad said that “inflation and unemployment had broken the back of the people. After GST and demonetisation, there is economic crisis in the country and there is an attempt to create rift in the social fabric. After Ayodhya, some people are talking about Mathura. For power, they are ruining the country”.

“Privatisation of railway is not good for the country and the price rise is worrying. If in our regime prices of petrol and diesel had gone up to such levels, people would have made it difficult for us to move around”, he said. “But, I’m assuring you that I may perish, but I will not backtrack [from the party’s ideology]”, he asserted while appealing to all party leaders and workers to work in tandem and never lose hope.

RJD leaders also celebrated the birth anniversary of the founder of the Lok Janshakti Party Ram Vilas Paswan at the party office.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 1:53:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/my-regime-was-not-jungle-raj-says-lalu/article35155726.ece

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