Constitution that gave reservation under threat: Lalu


PTI, Apr 17, 2024, 7:29 PM IST

RJD president Lalu Prasad on Wednesday charged that attempts were being made to ”erase” and ”finish off” the Constitution framed by BR Ambedkar that granted reservations to deprived castes.

The former Bihar CM made the remark at a rally in the Saran Lok Sabha seat, which he has represented several times and from where his daughter Rohini Acharya is making her electoral debut.

”Attempts are being made to erase and finish off the Constitution of Babasaheb Ambedkar. But for the Constitution, there would have been neither reservations nor democracy. We must finish off those who wish to finish off the Constitution,” said Prasad, in an obvious reference to the ruling BJP.

Prasad has been alleging that the BJP would scrap reservations ever since RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat called for a ”review” of the system in 2015.

Prasad succeeded in achieving an OBC consolidation, on the issue, in the assembly polls of 2015, when the RJD’s tally saw a four-fold jump and it emerged as the single largest party.

Of late, statements by many BJP leaders of a possible ”change” in Constitution, in the event of the party securing a two-thirds majority, seem to have provided Prasad and his ilk with fresh grist to the mill.

However, BJP’s top brass, including PM Narendra Modi, have been at pains to debunk statements made by sundry leaders and affirm their reverence for the Constitution, equating it with sacred texts like the Ramayana, the Bible and the Quoran.

It was the first meeting that Prasad, one of the biggest crowd-pullers of his time, addressed since the Lok Sabha polls were announced.

The ailing septuagenarian, who spoke with his face masked, was last seen in public at a rally of the INDIA bloc held at the historic Gandhi Maidan in Patna, about a week before the poll schedule was announced by the Election Commission.

Although Prasad, who is a diabetic and had undergone a kidney transplant, looked a pale shadow of himself, crowds cheered him heartily, relishing every word that he uttered.

Besides Acharya, who was earlier based in Singapore, Prasad was accompanied, on the campaign trail, by wife Rabri Devi, who had succeeded him as CM.

The seat, formerly known as Chhapra, from where Prasad had made his debut in 1997, is currently held by BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who aims at a hat-trick.

Meanwhile, the RJD supremo’s younger son and heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav, who has so far been singlehandedly running the party campaign, expressed delight over his father venturing out for his elder sister.

”My sister rendered exemplary service to the family,” said Yadav, referring to the donation of a kidney to Prasad by Acharya, who is in her 40s.

”She will serve the people of Saran with the same spirit. It was the people’s wish to have Lalu ji among themselves. That their wish has been fulfilled, is a matter of joy for us all,” added the former Deputy CM.

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