Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad on Sunday dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi
and Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) President Amit Shah to do whatever they could against him and his family but warned that he and his party will continue to work for the defeat of "communal forces" in the 2019 General Elections.
"I will neither bow before fascist and communal forces like the BJP nor stop our fight against them till their defeat in the next General Elections," the former Bihar Chief Minister said while addressing an Opposition rally organised by his party in Patna.
He also said he would ensure the ousting of fascist-communal forces from power in Delhi by uniting various Opposition parties.
Lalu Prasad said he would prefer to be hanged rather than compromise on his principles and political ideology to fight communal and fascist forces in the country.
"I was the one who used to warn people across the country during the 2014 election campaigning that if the BJP led by Modi came to power, the country will face danger and problems. My apprehensions were ignored by many at that time, but have been proved true now."
The former Railway Minister accused the central government of misusing the Income Tax Department, the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to lodge "false cases" against him and his son and daughter to defame them.
"Farzi mukadma hum logon ko darane ke liye kiya tha
(False case was foisted on us to scare us)," the RJD
Accusing Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
of betraying the public mandate by breaking the Grand Alliance in the state, Lalu Prasad said the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader (Nitish) had no principles, no ideology, but only love for power.
Lalu Prasad said he was aware of Nitish Kumar's designs of political betrayal and was not ready to name him the chief ministerial candidate when the Grand Alliance was formed in Bihar.
"I was not ready to declare Nitish Kumar
the chief ministerial candidate due to his track record of betraying... it was the then Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav who persuaded me to agree to his name for the post."
He said Nitish Kumar
was envious of and feared his younger son and former Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav's popularity.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
targeted the BJP and PM Modi for making "false promises" and their total failure to fulfill any of them.
"They only made false promises and did not do anything else," Banerjee said in her speech delivered in Hindi at the rally.
"We have seen three and half years that passed so far in the name of 'achche din' (good days). But [the] reality on the ground is different... farmers are dying, unemployed youths are growing at [a] fast rate like never before, common people are fed up with price rise," she said.
Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress
(TMC) supremo, said the country is ruled by a party that has changed the definition of democracy.
"Now for the, it is a government of the agencies, by the agencies and for the agencies. It is simple — the BJP and Modi have been using these agencies against Opposition parties to any one who raises voices against them."
But Banerjee asserted that she is not afraid of the central government because she believes in the fight and the struggle from the road to the Assembly and the Parliament.
Accusing the central government of "trying to scare her with the help of the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation)", she said: "BJP leaders have been behaving across the country in such a fashion to demonstrate that only BJP is right and others, including [the] Opposition, are wrong. This is something to be challenged and countered because it is a dangerous trend in the country."
She also referred to the BJP's inability to control the situation in party-ruled Haryana after the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case.
Noting that the Opposition is the voice of the people, she said that if youth will protest or agitate against increasing joblessness, Opposition parties have to support them.
Banerjee said that the BJP would be ousted from the power in the 2019 general elections if the Opposition will be united on one platform.
C P Joshi of the Congress, Nationalist Congress
Party's Tarique Anwar, Rashtriya Lok Dal's Choudhary Jayant Singh, Communist Party of India's Sudhakar Reddy, former Jharkhand Chief Ministers Hemant Soren of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Babulal Marandi of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, All India United Democratic Front leader Badruddin Ajmal and leaders from the DMK, Janata Dal-Secular and Revolutionary Socialist Party also attended.
Thousands of people attended the rally despite floods in major parts of Seemanchal, Koshi, and Mithilanchal regions of north Bihar.
Also present at the rally were Tejashwi Yadav, Lalu Prasad's elder son Tej Pratap Yadav and wife Rabri Devi along with their daughter Misa Bharti.