PATNA: As Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) observed its 21st foundation day on Wednesday under the palpable shadow of the crises its founder-president Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family are facing, the event turned into a venue for war cries against BJP and the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre.
Yadav wanted to ensure that the ‘BJP Hatao, Desh Bachao’ (remove BJP, save India) rally scheduled on August 27 becomes a grand success in uniting several Opposition parties on a single platform against BJP. “What will you do if I am sent to jail before August 27?” he asked his supporters from the dais in a giant water-proof pandal during his address. “We will fight back,” came the resounding reply. “No, tell me what you will do,” he asked. The same reply came again, louder than earlier. Then Yadav said: “The rally aims at driving away BJP and saving the nation. They (the Modi government) want to drive away Lalu, we want to drive them away in the interest of the country. So this is a test for you.” Talking about the crises he is facing due to the revived trials in the 20-year-old fodder scam cases, Yadav said: “My stars keep going here and there. Now I want each of you to conduct yourself as Lalu and make the rally a success with the dedication of organising the wedding of a daughter or son”.
“If Akhilesh and Mayawati come together, which is very possible, then the BJP game is over” he said. The RJD chief, accompanied by his minister sons Tejaswi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav among top leaders of RJD, said the August 27 rally in Patna would be attended by Congress, Samajwadi Party, BSP, JD(U), Odisha’s BJD, Jharkhand’s JMM and JVM(P) and the Left parties, among others. The days of the Modi government, Yadav claimed, are numbered. Yadav slammed the Centre saying that there had been an “undeclared emergency” in the country. “Communal hatred is being spread and murders are being orchestrated in public in the name of cow protection even as farmers are committing suicide across the country,” he said.
Attacking BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi for the several allegations of dubious land deals the latter has levelled on his family members, Yadav said: “He (Modi) is telling lies and misleading the people against us. If he does not apologise in two days, I will file a defamation suit against him”.
Yadav’s younger son and deputy chief minister Tejaswi Yadav said RJD has emerged stronger due to the crises it faces. “Our opponents said RJD was finished. But we defeated them in the polls. At 21, we are no longer teenagers. The party has turned really youthful,” he said. “Lalu has furthered the cause of social justice, secularism and socialism like no other leader in recent years. This is why RSS and BJP cannot tolerate him. But we will emerge stronger and as winners,” said RJD state chief Ramchandra Purve.
RJD was formed on July 5, 1997, after the Janata Dal broke up. The party got the status of a recognised national level party in 2008, but was de-recognised as a national party on July 30, 2010, after a fall in its vote share in the 2009 Jharkhand Assembly polls.