Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad on Tuesday sought to put up a brave front amid Income Tax department’s raids at 22 locations in Delhi and adjoining areas on charges of alleged benami deals worth Rs 1,000 crore linked to him and others, saying he was “not scared at all” and will continue to fight against the “fascist forces”.
“BJP mein himmat nahi hai ki Lalu ki awaz ko daba sake...Lalu ki awaz dabayenge to desh bhar me karoron Lalu khare ho jayenge...Main gidarbhabhki se nahi darne wala hoon (BJP does not have the courage to stifle my voice... If it tries to silence one Lalu, crores of Lalu will come forward. I am not scared of empty threats),” he said in a series of tweets.
Prasad rapped the Bharatiya Janata Party in yet another tweet for “sensing an opportunity to destabilise the Grand Alliance government in Bihar” and asserted that the coalition was “intact”.
“Do not be tempted, the alliance is intact. Many more parties with a common ideology are going to join hands with us. I am not scared of the BJP letting loose the government machinery on me,” he wrote on the microblogging website.
In another tweet, he said, “Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-BJP ko Lalu ke naam se kampkapi chhuti hai...Inko pata hai ki Lalu inke jhoot, loot aur jumlon ke kaarobar ko dhwast kar raha hai, to dabab banao (The RSS-BJP shivers at the very name of Lalu... They know that Lalu is destroying their trade based on lies, loot and gimmicks and that is why they are putting pressure on me).”
The RJD chief took a dig at the BJP by congratulating the saffron party on “forging a new alliance” and asserted that he will keep fighting against the “fascist forces” till the last breath.
He also slammed media persons by branding them as “learned illiterates” and asked them to disclose the 22 locations raided by IT sleuths.
“Are padhe-likhe anpadhon, ye to batao kaun se 22 thikano par chhapemari hui... BJP-samarthit media aur uske sahyogi ghatakon (sarkari toton) se Lalu nahi darta (You learned illiterates, please disclose the 22 locations which are being raided... Lalu is not scared of the BJP-backed media and central agencies (state-owned parrots),” he said.
RJD national spokesperson Manoj Jha clarified Prasad’s “new alliance” jibe at the BJP by claiming that the National Democratic Alliance government was “using” the IT department, Central Bureau of Investigation and other central agencies as its “alliance partners” against its adversaries, including the RJD chief.
He added that Prasad’s “state-owned parrots” remark too was aimed at the central agencies.
Jha alleged that the BJP was “muzzling the voice of the Opposition” and said, “We will fight in the court and on the ground. The battle against the BJP will be fought from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.”
Jha also played down the speculation of strains in the Grand Alliance government in Bihar with the allies speaking in different voices on the “expose” against Prasad and his family and asserted that the coalition was “rock solid”.
“Our alliance is a natural one... it will not break so easily,” he said.
Earlier in the day, even as the IT raids were on in Delhi and adjoining areas, Prasad’s colleagues Jha, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Prabhunath Singh, Bihar RJD chief Ramchandra Purve, Prasad’s trusted lawyer Chittaranjan Sinha and others visited his wife Rabri Devi’s 10, Circular Road residence.