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Lalu 'understands' who UPA's chief ministerial candidate is
September 30, 2005 23:22 IST
Notwithstanding Congress' assertion that United Progressive Alliance would not project anyone as the chief ministerial candidate for Bihar ahead of the polls, Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav on Friday said it is "very well understood."
"It is very well understood who is UPA's chief ministerial candidate in Bihar. Does anybody have any doubt about it?" He said at a press conference, apparently referring to his wife and former chief minister Rabri Devi.
On the UPA's common minimum programme, he said allies RJD, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party would announce the CMP on October 4 and the elections would be fought on its basis.
On the alliance's poll issues, Prasad said, "Definitely development and communal harmony. The track record of our government in respect of ensuring communal peace has been impeccable."
Attacking National Democratic Alliance, he said it has done "great injustice" to Bihar by not compensating state for loss of resource-rich Jharkhand. "Jis tarah humne Railway ko chamkaya hai usi tarah Bihar ko chamkayenge (We will make Bihar shine the way the Railways are shining)," Lalu, who is Railway Minister, said.
Countering NDA's allegations that he was misusing official machinery, Lalu said, "some people are making this charge and so Dalit, Muslim and backward class officers committed to checking crime, are being transferred on such a large scale".
Pointing out that 20-25 per cent of poor people were yet to receive electoral photo identity cards, Lalu demanded either Election Commission ensure that every voter gets EPIC or is allowed to cast vote on alternative documents. "The EC should guarantee that every voter is allowed to exercise his franchise if his name figures in the voters list.
Referring to Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan's charge that he was not keen on Dalit muslims getting reservation in government jobs, the RJD chief said "we will explain our stand on the issue in our CMP. We are definitely in favour of Constitution to be amended to provide reservation to them."
When asked for comments on kidnapped schoolboy Gaurav Kumar alias Golu, he said, "In last polls media targeted us for abduction of Kislay. Now, RJD is not in power, so tell me who is responsible for kidnappings? Why has the boy not been rescued?" On whether the "division" in UPA in Bihar would affect its performance in polls, he said, "Don't have any illusion about it. We will win."
To a question on law and order situation in the state under the President's rule, Lalu said "though the state has central rule, the administration, for all practical purposes, is under the control of Election Commission".