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BJP new incarnation of British, urges UP voters to support Akhilesh Yadav: Lalu

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Patna, Feb 9: Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad on Wednesday launched a stinging attack on the BJP, comparing it to British colonialists who engineered communal tensions for consolidation of power.

BJP new incarnation of British, urges UP voters to support Akhilesh Yadav: Lalu

In a freewheeling interaction with journalists here, the former Bihar chief minister also took a dig at his arch-rival Nitish Kumar, the present incumbent. "It is true that for the sake of power, Nitish has no qualms about aligning with anybody. But Chhedi Paswan should not have gone to the extent of saying that he can join hands with even Dawood Ibrahim," said Prasad referring to remarks made by the BJP MP from Sasaram which has left Kumar's JD(U) fuming.

The veteran politician was, however, guarded in his response when asked about the possible impact on Bihar of the outcome of assembly polls in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, in the light of strain in BJP-JD(U) ties. "We shall cross the bridge when we reach it," said the RJD supremo whose party is in opposition in the state despite having the highest number of MLAs. He, however, expressed full support for the Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav, to whose family one of his daughters is married.

"The BJP is jittery facing the first phase of elections tomorrow when most seats going to polls have a sizeable presence of Jats whom the party's government has treated badly during the farmers' agitations," Prasad said appealing to people to vote out the saffron party and help Akhilesh win. Accusing the BJP of stoking religious passions to divert public attention from unemployment, he said, "Our forefathers had driven out the British who held power by pitting one community against the other. They (BJP) are the new incarnation of the British."

Prasad said his party will come out with its future strategy at its national executive here on Thursday which will be followed by the election, later this month, of the national president. "Election of the national president is held before expiry of the term, as per the party constitution and in a fully democratic manner," said the ailing septuagenarian who has ruled out the possibility of giving up the top RJD post and anointing younger son and heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav.

The colourful politician who is known for his candour, however, grew uneasy when asked to comment on his party's recent tussle with the Congress, an old ally in the state. "I shall now take leave of you. You all are now up to some mischief," he said while getting up from chair amid peals of laughter. PTI

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