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Lalu calls Modi ‘nakli’ OBC, questions silence on reservation issue

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Patna: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Chief Lalu Prasad on Thursday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the issue of reservation for Dalits and OBCs after RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat demanded a review of the policy.

Lalu Prasad made these comments ahead of Modi’s visit to Bihar to address four rallies on Thursday.

Why has Modi remained silent on the reservation issue after the RSS chief demanded to end it. He should have either condemned the statement or provided a clarification on his stand,” Lalu said at a press conference here on Thursday.

Lalu said if Modi is not in support of reservation, he is a “nakli” OBC.

He said reservation should be in proportion to the population of Dalits and OBCs. “We are looking for an increase in reservation and RSS is conspiring to end it, we will not allow it.”

Lalu also targeted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah. “Shah is dreaming of becoming Prime Minister by pushing back Modi.”

He described the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as a factory which produces and spreads hate in the country. “The RSS agenda is to keep Dalits and OBCs as slaves.”

Lalu also questioned the BJP’s development agenda in the polls. “Why has BJP promised to distribute TVs, laptops and scooties if the party is sure of development. BJP is trying to bribe people for votes.”

He cautioned people that Modi has betrayed the people by failing to fulfil any of the promises he made during the last Lok Sabha polls. “BJP has been using money power in Bihar polls like never before. The party has deployed dozens of choppers, hundreds of its leaders have booked costly hotel rooms.”

Polling to the 243-member Bihar assembly will take place in five phases between October 12 and November 5. Counting of votes is slated for November 8.

(IANS)

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India Begins Its Election Season With Five States

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh.

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India, elections
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses the gathering during the 'Global Mobility Summit' in New Delhi, India, VOA

India began on Monday the first of five state elections to be held in coming weeks, important tests for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he plots a course that he hopes will ensure him victory in a general election due by May.

Voters in the central state of Chhattisgarh went to the polls on Monday to elect representatives for 18 of the state assembly’s 90 seats in a staggered poll complicated by logistical problems and left-wing guerrillas.

The state of about 26 million people has been ruled by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2003, and he will be hoping to hold on to power.

India, elections
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“Some unholy people have handed guns to children who should have pens in their hands,” Modi told a rally in the state on Friday, referring to the rag-tag guerrillas battling government forces from forest hideouts. “They’ve finished the lives of our tribal children.”

Hundreds of election workers had to be flown in to remote polling stations by helicopter because of the danger posed by the rebels.

Modi called for voters to back his BJP and its vision of “development for all.”

The final phase of voting in Chhattisgarh, which is known for its coal, iron ore and bauxite reserves, will be on Nov. 20.

India,India, elections
India’s Congress party President Rahul Gandhi displays documents as he accuses Narendra Modi’s government of buying 36 Rafale fighter jets from France’s Dassault at a highly inflated price, in New Delhi, India. VOA

The BJP was the preference of about 43 percent of voters in Chhattisgarh, 7 percentage points ahead of the main opposition Congress party, according to a survey released last week by the Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Modi’s other big tests will be in the neighboring central state of Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP is slightly ahead of Congress, according to polls, and in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, where Congress is expected to emerge victorious.

A good performance by the BJP in the elections would help it deflect growing criticism over unemployment and a crisis in the countryside over falling farm prices and wages.

India, elections
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Elections will also be held for assemblies in Telangana in the south and Mizoram in the northeast.

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh, including Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu priest and the BJP chief minister in Uttar Pradesh state.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi Announces Easier Access to Credit

Adityanath has been appealing to the BJP’s Hindu-nationalist base and on Sunday accused the opposition of blocking construction of a temple for Hindu god Ram on a disputed site in Uttar Pradesh.

The destruction of a mosque on the site by a Hindu mob in 1992 sparked deadly riots across the country. (VOA)