Bad politics in bad times can wreak havoc to the fortunes of a political leader or a party. Former Bihar chief minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) head Lalu Prasad Yadav may learn this soon. Lalu is busy preparing for a massive ‘BJP bhagao, desh bachao’ rally of opposition parties on August 27 in Patna. The decision to hold such a rally couldn’t have come at the worst time than now.
As many as 341 people have lost their lives in the last few days due to one the worst floods in Bihar. Bihar flood has hit 18 districts and around 1.4 crore people of the state. Over 7 lakh people have been shifted to safer areas. To deal with the crisis, people from all walks of life have come forward to help the victims. But Lalu is adamant. He wants to go ahead with the planned rally.
What message would Lalu send across to people of the state already left scarred by the deluge? On Wednesday, BJP appealed to Lalu to postpone the August 27 rally and instead support the government in the fight against floods. BJP leader and Bihar deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi told reporters, “I appeal to Lalu Prasad to postpone the rally on account of the massive Bihar flood.” However, Lalu rejected the appeal.
““Sushil Modi don’t teach me…will the postponement of the rally lead to the end of floods in Bihar?” the RJD chief said in his usual style. Sushil Modi had also appealed to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi not to address the rally.
Lalu claims around 25 lakh people and top leaders of opposition parties would participate in his rally. The claim is, however, questionable in times of flood. It seems the RJD chief can’t see the irony his rally, if it takes place, would present. But other top leaders of opposition parties appear to have already sensed the irony.
Mint reported today the RJD chief may face political isolation soon. Top Congress, BSP and Left Front leaders have decided not to attend the rally. What has worked against the RJD chief is not just the ill-timed rally but also corruption cases being probed by investigative agencies against him.
Lalu’s decision to go ahead with the rally shows how desperate he has become after Bihar CM Nitish Kumar recently broke the grand alliance government and joined hands with the BJP. The reasons for his anger against BJP may be valid. But this is not the right time for politics. His fight can wait.