Patna: A day after Narendra Modi reached out to Bihar's Yadava voters introducing himself as a native of the land of Lord Krishna, RJD chief Lalu Prasad hit out at the Prime Minister, calling him “Kaliya Naag”, a mythical serpent the Hindu God had slain, and asserting “we will crush him”.
“Krishna had slain Kaliya Nag. It has been reborn as Narendra Modi and is biting entire Bihar. We Yaduvanshis (people belonging to the Yadav clan) will crush him again and uproot his party from the state,” Prasad told reporters as he began a day-long fast for the release of caste census figures, accusing the Centre of suppressing it.
Modi, at a BJP rally in Muzaffarpur yesterday, sought to reach out to the Yadavas, Lalu's mainstay, by addressing them as “Yadu Bhai” and introduced himself as a native of Lord Krishna's land.
Lalu, known for his penchant for the dramatic, arrived at the fast venue at Gandhi Maidan on a tonga, horse drawn carriages that are being used by his party for campaigning for the Assembly polls.
Demanding immediate release of the caste census figures,Lalu said the data would reveal the real numbers of Scheduled Castes and Schedule Tribes, which he claimed had increased three times over the years.
The last caste census was conducted in 1931 during the British rule. The new data will form the basis for increased reservation for the downtrodden and separate outlays for welfare programmes for them, he said.
“There is a constitutional provision for proportionate reservation for SCs and STs according to their population. At present it is being given on the basis of their population as per the caste census of 1931. When the figures of the new caste census come out, we will demand reservation for them on that basis,” Prasad said.
“We know that the new caste census figures are very alarming. The population of SCs and STs has more than tripled since 1931 and the BJP-led central government is trying to suppress it so that it doesn't have to give the poor their rightful due,” he said.
Attacking Modi over his plans to build smart cities, Lalu said the country wanted smart jobs. “The majority of people across our nation are landless and jobless. Modi has lost track and has got derailed while talking about development,” he said.
Flanked by senior party leaders like state RJD president Ramchandra Purve, legislature party leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui, former Union Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, MLC Bhola Yadav, sons Tejaswi and Tej Pratap, Lalu said people needed to know the number of their castemen and their share in population.
JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, who joined him around noon to lend his party's support to the demand for release of caste census figures, said he specially flew from Delhi as his “courageous brother” (Prasad) has launched a struggle against “bad conditions” prevailing in the country.
Elaborating on the “bad conditions”, Yadav said the deprived sections of the society, who have given their sweat for the country's development, were leading a miserable existence even after 68 years of independence, while “the dishonest people ruling at the Centre are trying to hide the caste census figures” to deny them their due.
Yadav said the caste census figures will show that illiteracy, economic disparity and poverty affected a majority of the people among the SCs, STs and backward castes and demanded that the Centre either do away entirely with the caste system or release the census figures immediately.