Friday, May 29, 2009

Lalu to visit all Bihar villages to revive RJD

Patna, May 28: Attributing his party's humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections to split in secular votes and lack of coordination with Ramvilas Paswan's LJP, RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Thursday said he would reach people in villages to revive the party.

"I have constituted a 21-member committee headed by former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh to analyse the reasons for our defeat, suggest measures for party's revival and names of candidates for the 15 seats that have fallen vacant due to election of sitting MLAs to the Lok Sabha," Prasad told reporters here.

"I will devote my full time to revive RJD for which I will visit each and every village by road," he told reporters after a review meeting to analyse the causes of party's debacle in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.

Expressing his resolve to revive the party, the RJD strongman said, "I have weathered many a political storm. Our defeat in elections notwithstanding, I will continue to fight for protection of Bihar's interest."

Claiming that the party's support base had not shrunk, Prasad said despite not emerging winner in most seats, the RJD polled 48 lakh votes in 28 seats which it contested, but ultimately could not do well because of the split in the secular votes.

Prasad alleged that a large number of voters belonging to the poor section were not allowed to cast their votes as they were not provided with EPIC, while the Nitish Kumar government "used the police to intimidate RJD voters".

"Though the assembly elections are 16 months away, I will work overtime to expose the misdeeds of the Nitish Kumar government and strengthen the organisational structure," he said, identifying lack of coordination between LJP and RJD workers as one of the reasons for the defeat as the alliance was stitched up "in a hurry".

Prasad said that LJP has convened its workers' meeting at Patna on June 8 which will be followed by a similar RJD conference on June 11. A joint conference of the two parties would follow.

The RJD, he said, would contest all the 24 seats of legislative council to be filled from the local bodies scheduled at the end of June.

He charged the Nitish Kumar government with befooling the masses by promising good governance. "Kumar won by bragging about reaching the fruits of development to the people when the fund was actually made available by the Centre."

"Kumar was just an implementing agency", Prasad said and added "Bharat sarkar ka paisa or ration garibon mein bant kar vote liya hai Nitish ne (Nitish cornered the votes by distributing the Central funds and ration among the poor)."

He demanded the state government should make public the Bandhopadhya Committee Report on Land Reforms, the list of people living below poverty line and the beneficiaries of 'Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan'.

Refusing to comment on his non-inclusion in the UPA government at the Centre, the former Railway Minister expressed confidence that the people will once again repose faith in him and his party.

Bureau Report

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