The BJP today appealed to the RJD to postpone its August-27 rally in Patna in view of the grim flood situation in the state, a request Lalu Prasad rejected wondering how will it help the affected population. BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said holding a political rally at a time when 18 districts of the state are facing flood fury and more than 1.5 crore people are affected shows “insensitivity” of the RJD. “I appeal to Lalu Prasad to postpone the rally on account of the massive Bihar flood,” he told reporters here.
The floods in the state have left more than 250 dead and affected millions of people.
Dismissing the appeal, Lalu said, “Sushil Modi don’t teach me…will the postponement of the rally lead to the end of floods in Bihar?”
Sushil Modi alleged that in place of extending a helping hand to the flood-hit population, Lalu Prasad and his party are “busy mobilising people” for the rally. He also appealed to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi not to address the rally. “Will it be right on your part not to visit flood-hit areas of the state but speak at the RJD rally at Gandhi Maidan?” he asked. Sushil Modi also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit flood-hit areas of the state on August 26.
“Lalu Prasad has claimed that not less than 25 lakh people would gather at the RJD rally. With majority of the districts being flood-hit, his claim would fall flat. Hence, it would be good that he shifts the rally for a future date as a face-saver,” he said. “Besides, it would also help his two sons — Tejashwi and Tej Pratap Yadav — have a first-hand experience of flood by visiting those areas as they have been brought up in Delhi and must not have any personal experience of flood,” he added. Meanwhile Lalu, flanked by Tejashwi and senior party leader Jagdanand Singh, alleged “the prime minister’s visit on August 26 is aimed at foiling the RJD rally the next day”.
“Why did not the PM pay a visit to Bihar during floods last year when there was a Grand Alliance government?…PM visit to flood areas will nothing but a ‘hawakhori’ (pleasure trip),” Prasad said. The RJD chief also sought to create a wedge between JD(U) and BJP coalition government in the state by saying that “Sushil Modi has claimed that the PM is coming to Bihar for flood on his request. Sushil Modi is trying to eclipse Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.”