RJD workers vent ire on Thackeray

PATNA Dec. 24. RJD workers yesterday burnt the effigy of the Shiv Sena chief, Bal Thackeray, venting their anger over his observation on their supremo, Laloo Prasad Yadav, in a signed article in the Sena mouthpiece, Saamna.

They demanded an immediate apology from Mr. Thackeray for calling Mr. Yadav names and humiliating Bihar and its people. They threatened to launch an agitation if the Sena leader failed to express regrets for calling Mr. Yadav "a joker in politics and a buffalo of Bihar."

Mr. Yadav himself had taken an exception to the remarks and maintained that it amounted to a breach of privilege of Member of Parliament, besides looking down upon Biharis.

The war of words between the two chieftains is not new. Mr. Yadav on several occasions had demanded action against the Sena leader, the latest being over the manner in which Sena activists had dug up a cricket pitch opposing the presence of Pakistan players in India.

During his visit to Mumbai, Mr. Yadav had also spoken against the Sena's action against Biharis living there. He had maintained that as an economic centre, Mumbai belonged to the country and its people were free to eke out a living there.

Mr. Yadav had also expressed his displeasure over the manner in which Biharis were targeted in Mumbai taking a cue from the Assamese anger against Biharis.

Mr. Yadav is making it appear that he has been fighting for the Bihari pride and his workers have hit the street to make political capital of it what with the Lok Sabha elections looming large on the horizon.

The Leader of the Opposition, S.K. Modi, and the senior BJP leader, Tara Kant Jha, maintained that it was wrong on the part of Mr. Thackeray to have referred to Mr. Yadav as a "Bhaisa (bufflao)." Both the leaders should restrain from issuing intemperate statements, they said.

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