Te­jashwi seeks for­give­ness for mis­takes com­mit­ted dur­ing Lalu-Rabri ten­ure

Se­cu­rity for Aparna stirs ru­mours of switch to BJP ■ Ahead of polls, RJD leader seeks for­give­ness for mis­takes com­mit­ted dur­ing his party’s ten­ure I was young when my party (RJD) was in power in Bi­har for fif­teen years. But if there were any mis­takes I ap

The Asian Age - - Front Page - AB­HI­NAV PANDEY NAYEAR AZAD

The se­cu­rity cover or­dered by the Yogi Adityanath gov­ern­ment to Sa­ma­jwadi Party founder Mu­layam Singh Ya­dav’s daugh­terin-law Aparna Ya­dav has trig­gered mur­murs over her prox­im­ity to the rul­ing BJP, a sug­ges­tion she de­nies.

Aparna Bisht Ya­dav, wife of Mu­layam Singh Ya­dav’s younger son Pra­teek Ya­dav, was last month pro­vided Y cat­e­gory se­cu­rity by the BJP gov­ern­ment in Ut­tar Pradesh.

It trig­gered spec­u­la­tion that the she may be pre­par­ing to switch sides ahead of the 2022 As­sem­bly polls.

Her brother-in-law and for­mer UP chief min­is­ter Akhilesh Ya­dav saw a Bharatiya Janata Party plot in the de­vel­op­ment.

“Pro­vid­ing her se­cu­rity is 500 per cent BJP’s trick,” he said in a news­pa­per in­ter­view, which he shared over so­cial me­dia.

When asked if she is still with the SP, Aparna Ya­dav told PTI, “Yes, I joined the party in 2016 on the di­rec­tions of ne­taji (Mu­layam Singh Ya­dav) and am very much a pri­mary mem­ber of the party”

But she also crit­i­cised her own party.

There is lack of dis­ci­pline in the SP. Party work­ers should know the party Con­sti­tu­tion, SP’s ide­ol­ogy and about so­cial­ism. ‘Ne­taji’ al­ways talked about dis­ci­pline in the party. What is the place of women in the party now?” she said.

“The old guard has changed in the party and the new one should take care of it. He must be work­ing on it,” she said, re­fer­ring to the power shift in the fam­ily from Mu­layam Singh Ya­dav to son Akhilesh Ya­dav.

The woman rights ac­tivist also de­fended her praise of Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi for his han­dling of the coro­n­avirus cri­sis.

Aparna Ya­dav

RJD leader Te­jashwi Ya­dav has sought an apol­ogy from peo­ple for the mis­takes com­mit­ted when his party was in power for fif­teen years in Bi­har.

“I was young when my party was in power for fif­teen years. But if there were any mis­takes I apolo­gies for that,” Te­jashwi Ya­dav said dur­ing an event in Patna re­cently.

“But dur­ing those fif­teen years can any­one deny that Mr Lalu Ya­dav did not do so­cial jus­tice”, he added.

His state­ment is likely to cause some heart­burn within the RJD es­pe­cially among those who are con­sid­ered close to RJD chief Lalu Ya­dav and for­mer chief min­is­ter Rabri Devi.

While rais­ing con­cern over the state­ment a sec­tion in the RJD called it an “im­ma­ture com­ment” and said that “not only in Bi­har but peo­ple across the coun­try are aware of how our party has worked for the poor and gave voice to the back­ward class”.

Te­jashwi Ya­dav gave the state­ment in re­sponse to the “15 years ver­sus 15 years” nar­ra­tive be­ing built by chief min­is­ter Ni­tish Ku­mar and his party JD(U).

In his speech, Te­jashwi Ya­dav also mounted an at­tack on Mr Ku­mar and held him re­spon­si­ble for un­em­ploy­ment in the state.

“Bi­har has be­come a cen­tre for un­em­ploy­ment. Dur­ing this coro­n­avirus cri­sis and coun­try­wide lock­down, the large num­ber of work­ers who were stuck in other states were from Bi­har. They left their state due to un­em­ploy­ment. Ni­tish Ku­mar is the chief min­is­ter of Bi­har and he has failed to gen­er­ate em­ploy­ment in the state”, Te­jashwi Ya­dav said.

RJD was in power for 15 years from 1990-2005. Dur­ing the first seven years, RJD chief Lalu Ya­dav was the chief min­is­ter of Bi­har. How­ever, af­ter his name sur­faced in the fod­der scam case in 1997, his wife Rabri Devi was made the chief min­is­ter.

Mr Ya­dav is cur­rently serv­ing a jail term af­ter be­ing con­victed in the fod­der scam case.

BJP spokesper­son Nikhil Anand re­but­ted the al­le­ga­tions made by Mr Te­jashwi and called it a stunt ahead of As­sem­bly elec­tions. In his state­ment, Anand said that “Peo­ple of Bi­har will never for­give RJD just like peo­ple of our coun­try will never for­give China and Pak­istan for their an­tiIn­dia acts and Congress for the massacre of Sikhs and mess­ing up with the Kash­mir is­sue.”

He also said that “Lalu Ya­dav should apolo­gies to the peo­ple be­cause Mr Te­jashwi’s state­ment is noth­ing but a stunt for the elec­tions”.

Mr Te­jashwi has been de­clared as the chief min­is­te­rial can­di­date by the RJD for the As­sem­bly polls which is likely to be held in Oc­to­berNovem­ber this year.

JD(U) spokesman Ra­jiv Ran­jan Prasad re­but­ted Mr Te­jashwi’s al­le­ga­tions against Ni­tish Ku­mar gov­ern­ment and as­serted that the peo­ple of Bi­har would not be be­fooled by “attempts at an im­age makeover in the elec­tion sea­son”.

“Peo­ple still shud­der at the mem­o­ries of the dark age when caste wars and kid­nap­pings for ransom com­mit­ted by anti-so­cial el­e­ments pa­tro­n­ised by those in power were the norm.

Not just or­di­nary labour­ers but even doc­tors, en­gi­neers and pro­fes­sion­als of all hues had to flee for their safety” Prasad al­leged.

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