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Advani anxious to become PM: Lalu
June 28, 2008 17:00 IST
With the Bharatiya Janata Party announcing its first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, the Rashtriya Janata Dal on Saturday took a swipe at senior party leader L K Advani, saying he was anxious to become the Prime Minister.
"Advani has challenged the foundation of secularism while addressing a party rally in Kanpur on Friday and is fomenting communal passions to capture power," RJD supremo and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad said.
Prasad criticised the BJP leader for raising the contentious issue of Ayodhya and charged him with spreading the communal virus.
Prasad was addressing a meeting of his party's core committee in New Delhi, which discussed RJD's future strategy in the wake of current political developments, vis-a-vis the India-United States nuclear agreement.
"By raising the Ram Temple issue, Advani has started whipping up communal sentiments to capture the seat of Hastinapur," Prasad said.
Advani, who is the National Democratic Alliance's Prime Ministerial candidate, on Friday demanded construction of a splendid Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
On Advani's suggestion for construction of a temple of Bharat Mata, Lalu said it reflected his anxiety and dubbed him as 'Vyakul Bharat'.
The RJD leader threatened to launch a massive campaign against 'any party, which tries to play with the basic tenets of the constitution'.
Resolving to take all steps to stop the communal forces from coming back to power, Prasad said the RJD would take efforts to ensure that all secular parties fight the election in a cordial atmosphere so that secular votes are not divided.
Stating categorically that there is no enmity with any political party, the RJD supremo described Samajwadi Party as secular, when asked about the developing proximity between the SP and the Congress.
"SP has its own mass base and they are secular people," said Prasad.
Commenting on the possibility of an alliance with the Lok Jan Shakti Party in the upcoming elections, Prasad said, "Ram Vilas Ji is also from the same ideology."
Defending the Central government over the issue of price rise, Prasad said, "A few people cannot tolerate the loan waiver to the farmers. We do not produce petrol and diesel. Farmers have been given relief. We have now buffer stock of green vegetables."
Denying that price rise has had an impact in villages, he said, "There may be price rise in big cities but it has no effect in villages."
The Railway Minister also held 'a section of BJP-supported traders' responsible for keeping the prices high.
On the nuclear deal, the RJD chief said, "The RJD symbol lantern is a candle in whose light we will reach the nuclear deal."
He also said that the RJD would continue with its lantern symbol even after the recent national status granted to the party.
"The Election Commission has sought our choice on the symbol. We will keep our lantern, which is a hurricane lamp, a candle that even a storm cannot extinguish," said Lalu.
The party chief, after holding the core committee and office bearers meeting in New Delhi on Saturday, will also chair the national executive meeting of the RJD in Bihar on July 4.
"We will go for intensive review of party work, pass important proposals and take vows in the meeting there," said Prasad.