Left slams Modi for "jungle raj ka yuvraaj" jibe at Tejashwi Yadav
Patna, Oct 29: Leaders of the Left parties on Thursday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his "jungle raj ka yuvraaj (crown prince)" jibe aimed at Tejashwi Yadav, whose Rashtriya Janata Dal heads the five-party opposition grand alliance in Bihar.
At a press conference which was addressed jointly by secretary generals of CPI(M) and CPI, Sitaram Yechury and D Raja respectively, besides CPI(ML) politburo member Kavita Krishnan, the leaders alleged that the epithet "rule of the jungle" was more apt for the administration in adjoining Uttar Pradesh headed by firebrand BJP leader Yogi Adityanath.
The prime minister had, at rallies he addressed in the poll-bound state on Wednesday, repeatedly used the expression "jungle raj ke yuvraaj" without naming Yadav, who is the opposition coalition's chief ministerial candidate, seeking to highlight the poor law and order situation that characterised the period when his parents Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi ruled the state.
"When the prime minister was using the expression 'jungle raj ke yuvraaj', I was left wondering if he had Yogi Adityanath's UP in mind. Where else can such a description be more apt than the state which saw the entire government machinery saving the culprits of the Hathras gang-rape and murder case," Krishnan said.
Raja said that "the remarks are tantamount to an insult to the people of Bihar and they will surely punish the NDA. Modi is left with nothing to showcase by way of his own accomplishments. Hence, he is resorting to rhetoric, theatrics and demagoguery in Bihar".
Yechury said the Left parties had agreed to become a part of the grand alliance, contesting only 29 seats, even though they have a "much larger presence". "...weakening and ultimately dislodging the Modi government is essential for democracy in the country. A victory in Bihar will pave the way," he said.
Replying to a query, Yechury asserted that "the agriculture reform bills brought in recently have made the farmers more vulnerable than ever to the onslaughts of big companies. It is certainly becoming a poll issue in Bihar though it may not get reflected in the discourse in the media".
Asked about Yadav and Kanhaiya Kumar not having shared the stage so far though both have been carrying out hectic campaigns, Raja, whose party had fielded the former JNU student leader on its ticket in Lok Sabha polls last year, said, "This is not an issue. All campaigners appear at rallies depending upon the requirement. If the need arises, both these young leaders will certainly address rallies jointly." Krishnan said youth power is being recognised the world over.
"The prime minister repeatedly mocked Tejashwi Yadav for lacking experience. We must look at the example of the young New Zealand Prime Minister who is winning accolades the world over for her handling of the COVID 19 pandemic," she said.
The Left leaders also scoffed at the prime minister for expressing confidence, in an interview given to an English daily, that India could achieve the target of "five trillion economy" despite the economic setback resulting from the lockdown. "For Modi it should be a matter of shame that we are worse off than even Bangladesh and Pakistan on the global hunger index. For his government, the economy seems to be all about making national wealth and assets available for cronies in the corporate world," they alleged.
In reply to a question about the BJP's allegation that its members in West Bengal were being killed by goons who are enjoying the support of the ruling Trinamool Congress, Yechury, whose party had ruled the eastern state for decades until being defeated by the Mamata Banerjee's party, quipped that "both the BJP and the TMC believe in violence to seek political dominance".