×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

'My father had turned Indian Railways around during UPA govt,' Tejashwi's response to Modi's barbs

The RJD leader accused the NDA government of handing over Indian Railways to the private sector.
Last Updated 03 March 2024, 17:11 IST

Patna: RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav took to the stage on Sunday to highlight his father Lalu Prasad's accomplishments as the railway minister, a day after corruption allegations were levelled against him by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Yadav delivered his response to the prime minister at a massive rally in the Bihar capital, where prominent opposition figures such as Rahul Gandhi, AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury also addressed the crowd.

Referring to Modi's speeches at back-to-back rallies in Aurangabad and Begusarai districts, Yadav said, "Modi ji had indirectly taunted me yesterday, saying I was wary of speaking about my father's deeds. I am responding to him. May he take note with eyes and ears open as I speak in front of the massive crowd (Jan sailab) out here".

He added, "My father had turned the railways around in the UPA government. Earlier, it was making losses but under his stewardship, it made a profit of Rs 90,000 crore. He also gave permanent jobs to coolies and introduced kulhads (earthen pots) in catering services for the benefit of our potter brethren".

"Above all, Lalu ji (as Bihar Chief Minister in the 1990s) made social justice a reality in Bihar where nobody can now dare deny the depressed classes their right to draw water from wells or force them to take off their shoes", said the RJD leader.

Yadav added, "I would like to ask the prime minister, what has been his contribution in the 10 years of his rule. He seems to be handing over railways to the private sector. Whom does he want to benefit? The people or capitalists?".

Incidentally, Yadav's name also figures in the land for jobs scam, though the alleged irregularities took place at a time when he was a minor.

Others named in the case include his mother Rabri Devi, a former chief minister herself, and elder sister Misa Bharti, who is a second term member of the Rajya Sabha.

The young RJD leader also took exception to the PM targeting his family over "parivarvad (dynastic rule)" and claimed Modi was oblivious to dynasts enjoying positions of power in NDA governments.

Yadav cited the examples of Samrat Choudhary, Bihar BJP president and Deputy CM, whose father had been a well known politician of his times; Santosh Suman, a minister in the Nitish Kumar cabinet whose father Jitan Ram Manjhi is an ex-CM; and Pashupati Kumar Paras, who got inducted into the Narendra Modi ministry following death of elder brother Ram Vilas Paswan.

He also called Choudhary a "loudmouth" and pointed out that the BJP leader "has not faced an election in the last 10 years. When he last became a member of the assembly, it was on an RJD ticket".

The RJD leader added, "Modi boasts about his guarantees. I challenge him to give a guarantee that uncle (chacha) Nitish Kumar will not do yet another volte face".

Kumar, who heads the JD(U), recently snapped ties with the RJD and returned to BJP-led NDA.

Calling the BJP a party of "liars", Yadav alleged, "they serve you cow dung (gobar) on the plates, but tell you it is gaajar ka halwa".

Yadav, whose party is often accused of being biased towards his caste, said, "I want to make an appeal to all of you who have come to hear me. If you love Tejashwi, please treat Dalits and those from the extremely backward classes with respect".

The young leader said the initials by which Rashtriya Janata Dal was known also stood for "rights, jobs and development".

ADVERTISEMENT
(Published 03 March 2024, 17:11 IST)

Follow us on

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT