Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Monday criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government for India’s economic crisis, adding that social harmony in the country was also under threat, PTI reported.
Yadav made the remark at his first public address since his release from jail almost three months ago. He was granted bail in the Dumka Treasury case related to the fodder scam on April 17. Yadav had got bail in two other cases in 2019 and 2020.
“GST [Goods and Services Tax] and demonetisation as also corona [coronavirus pandemic] have created an economic crisis,” Yadav said while virtually addressing Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders and workers. “Now, there is the threat of destroying the social fabric. After Ayodhya, some people are talking about Mathura.” Yadav accused the BJP of ruining the country for power, according to The Hindu.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal chief also hit out at the Nitish Kumar-led government in Bihar for its alleged mismanagement of the Covid-19 crisis and corruption. Commenting on the crime rate in Bihar, Yadav claimed four murders took place in the state every day, PTI reported.
Yadav also spoke about unemployment in Bihar. “Lakhs and lakhs of people are being reduced to migrant labourers because of lack of employment,” he said.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal chief praised his son Tejashwi Yadav for his leadership in the run up to the Assembly elections in Bihar in 2020. Rashtriya Janata Dal had won 75 seats to emerge as the single-largest party in the polls. But the BJP-JD(U) coalition won the elections by bagging 125 seats in the 243-member state Assembly.
“Frankly, I had never expected this from him,” Yadav was quoted as saying by NDTV. “He safely steered the RJD’s boat. RJD has a bright future.”
Yadav, who had been unwell in jail, is now recovering at his daughter and Rajya Sabha MP Misa Bharti’s home in New Delhi, according to The Hindu. Yadav promised his supporters that he would return to Patna soon, India Today reported.
“Be patient and don’t worry,” he said, adding that he will visit every district to meet people. “We will die but we will not retreat,” he said, according to NDTV.
Yadav had been in jail since December 2017 after being convicted in multiple cases related to the fodder scam that was exposed in 1996, involving the embezzlement of around Rs 1,000 crore from the state exchequer for the purchase of fictitious medicines and fodder for cattle. He was the chief minister of the state at the time.