Monday, June 08, 2009

Free-for-all at joint meeting of RJD, LJP

HAJIPUR/PATNA: The first joint meeting of RJD, LJP and Samajwadi Party workers at the Basawan Singh Indoor Stadium at Hajipur turned out to be a fiasco with RJD and LJP workers hurling charges against each other and their leaders forced to leave the venue in a huff.

A complete chaos prevailed at the stadium as LJP workers demanded that all the RJD leaders should get down from the stage, alleging that they had sabotaged the elections of LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan and were instrumental in his defeat. The meeting had to be abandoned.

Leaders like former RJD MLA Rajendra Rai were virtually pushed down the stage and angry LJP workers were not ready to listen to even their own MLA Rama Singh, who kept appealing for peace. Even the presence of Ram Vilas Paswan on the stage failed to pacify the LJP workers who insisted that only Paswan should be allowed to sit on the stage.

Source : Times of India

Paswan had to leave the venue without uttering a word as there was a fight for possession of the public address system. Several LJP workers demanded that the party's alliance with the RJD be snapped since the latter failed to transfer its votes to their leader. Later, the public address system was made non-functional by Paswan's son-in-law Mrinal in order to stop embarrassing speeches by angry LJP workers.

A visibly agitated RJD MLA Prema Choudhary remarked that she had been insulted. "It was the LJP which had called the meeting. We were guests," she remarked, stressing that the LJP workers were not even ready to listen to their own MLA. She said that she and other senior RJD leaders like Munshi Lal Rai and Rajendar Rai had to leave the stage. "The defeat was a result of weaknesses of LJP workers," she alleged. She, however, insisted that she was committed to the RJD-LJP alliance.

The fiasco of the first joint LJP-RJD district workers' meet is a bad news for both RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan as they had announced to hold a state-level joint workers' meeting of their parties soon. They had said that the joint meeting would be aimed at encouraging greater cooperation among the workers of the two parties at the grass-roots level, an aspect found missing in the just concluded Lok Sabha polls.