Lalu Prasad-

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By PTI

PATNA: RJD president Lalu Prasad on Saturday charged the Narendra Modi government at the Centre with having a hostile attitude towards the caste survey conducted in Bihar.

Addressing a book release function here, Lalu Prasad claimed oppression of backward classes, SCs and STs continued since “feudal traits do not go away so easily”.

“The prime minister of this country seems distressed with castes. He keeps mentioning ‘Jati’ in his speeches, perhaps he thinks this social reality will not let him enjoy peace. He is right if he thinks so,” remarked Prasad with a hint of sarcasm, without mentioning Modi or the BJP by name.

He, however, alleged that the BJP government at the Centre betrayed its “hatred” towards the caste survey ordered by his ally, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, when the Solicitor General of India made a submission before the Supreme Court which was hearing petitions challenging the exercise.

“Why must there not be a caste survey? Without having the actual data, we are remaining content with affirmative action based on presumptions, and allocations for weaker sections doled out as if it were a great favour when it was a matter of right,” said the former chief minister of Bihar, arguably the tallest leader to emerge out of the 1990s Mandal wave.

Nitish Kumar had on Friday said the caste-based survey in the state has been completed and the state government would soon make the data public.

Lalu Prasad, who takes pride in having been at the helm in Bihar when recommendations of Mandal Commission were implemented and BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani was arrested, cutting short the “Ram Rath Yatra”, also reaffirmed his commitment to “social justice and communal harmony”.

“I have fought for these two ideals and will continue to fight”, said the RJD supremo, who is a key member of the opposition coalition INDIA.

The doughty leader who has been pulled down by old age and ill health, spoke for barely 10 minutes, seated in his chair, but offered a few glimpses of his legendary sense of humour to those present at the venue.

Turning towards journalist Manoj Mitta, whose book “Caste Pride: Battles for Equality in Hindu India” he released here, Prasad told the audience: “When I received the invitation for this function, I first felt a sense of fear, looking at the thickness of the tome”.

“I would love to read this book. But that would require me to streamline my routine so that I can take some time off,” said the RJD supremo, evoking peals of laughter.

He added, amid guffaws, “I can also take the help of my party colleague Shivanand Tiwary who is present here. He is a scholar. He can do the hard work of going through the book and I shall benefit from the knowledge he gains.”

PATNA: RJD president Lalu Prasad on Saturday charged the Narendra Modi government at the Centre with having a hostile attitude towards the caste survey conducted in Bihar.

Addressing a book release function here, Lalu Prasad claimed oppression of backward classes, SCs and STs continued since “feudal traits do not go away so easily”.

“The prime minister of this country seems distressed with castes. He keeps mentioning ‘Jati’ in his speeches, perhaps he thinks this social reality will not let him enjoy peace. He is right if he thinks so,” remarked Prasad with a hint of sarcasm, without mentioning Modi or the BJP by name.googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-8052921-2’); });

He, however, alleged that the BJP government at the Centre betrayed its “hatred” towards the caste survey ordered by his ally, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, when the Solicitor General of India made a submission before the Supreme Court which was hearing petitions challenging the exercise.

“Why must there not be a caste survey? Without having the actual data, we are remaining content with affirmative action based on presumptions, and allocations for weaker sections doled out as if it were a great favour when it was a matter of right,” said the former chief minister of Bihar, arguably the tallest leader to emerge out of the 1990s Mandal wave.

Nitish Kumar had on Friday said the caste-based survey in the state has been completed and the state government would soon make the data public.

Lalu Prasad, who takes pride in having been at the helm in Bihar when recommendations of Mandal Commission were implemented and BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani was arrested, cutting short the “Ram Rath Yatra”, also reaffirmed his commitment to “social justice and communal harmony”.

“I have fought for these two ideals and will continue to fight”, said the RJD supremo, who is a key member of the opposition coalition INDIA.

The doughty leader who has been pulled down by old age and ill health, spoke for barely 10 minutes, seated in his chair, but offered a few glimpses of his legendary sense of humour to those present at the venue.

Turning towards journalist Manoj Mitta, whose book “Caste Pride: Battles for Equality in Hindu India” he released here, Prasad told the audience: “When I received the invitation for this function, I first felt a sense of fear, looking at the thickness of the tome”.

“I would love to read this book. But that would require me to streamline my routine so that I can take some time off,” said the RJD supremo, evoking peals of laughter.

He added, amid guffaws, “I can also take the help of my party colleague Shivanand Tiwary who is present here. He is a scholar. He can do the hard work of going through the book and I shall benefit from the knowledge he gains.”

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