RJD chief Lalu Prasad calls for ban on RSS

The RJD chief calls the RSS a ‘Hindu extremist organisation’

Published - September 28, 2022 11:48 pm IST - New Delhi

Lalu Prasad 

Lalu Prasad  | Photo Credit: PTI

After the CPI(M) now Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad too called for a ban on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) equating it with the Popular Front of India (PFI), which was banned by the Union Home Ministry on Wednesday. He went a step ahead calling the RSS a “Hindu extremist organisation”. The BJP was quick to hit back, accusing Mr. Prasad of pursuing “pseudo secularism” and “vote-bank” politics.

Barring AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, no political party has spoken against the PFI ban. The Congress too has spoken out in favour of the action against the PFI. Responding to the nationwide raids by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on the offices of the Popular Front of India which was precursor to the ban, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi last Thursday said “there should be zero tolerance towards any form of communalism.” The CPI(M) Polit Bureau, in a statement on Monday, had taken a similar stance as Mr. Prasad.

“They keep raising the bogey of the PFI. It is the RSS, which is all about Hindu extremism [‘kattarpanth’], that deserves to be banned first,” Mr. Prasad said. Parallel to the Congress presidential polls, the RJD is also in the process of holding internal elections. Mr. Prasad spoke to reporters after filing nomination for the president post. He is the only candidate in fray.

The party’s national council meeting in Delhi on October 10 will ratify the election of Mr. Prasad, who has been heading the RJD since he founded it in 1997. His remarks drew a sharp reaction from the BJP.

“Lalu ji is aiming at consolidation of his Muslim support base by supporting the PFI. For this very reason he is hostile towards the RSS and its ideals of cultural nationalism,” Bihar BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand said in a statement.

Mr. Prasad is upbeat about bringing the opposition parties together. But not so enthusiastic about Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar leading such a coalition. When asked if he foresaw a situation where Mr. Kumar could lead the country, he said, “Sab log mil kar sambhalenge’ [we all will run the show together].” The ailing RJD chief replied with an emphatic “bilkul” [of course] when asked whether he hoped that his son Tejashwi Yadav, currently the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, will one day rule the State.

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