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Lalu, Sushil Modi spar over Gujarat Assembly polls

Press Trust of India  |  Patna 

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi today dared RJD chief to campaign in "if he has the guts" after the latter claimed that the rule will end in the western state after the assembly polls.

Sushil Modi dismissed Lalu Prasad's claim of victory in and questioned why he was not campaigning for his ally.

At a programme hosted by a channel, Prasad said, "The BJP, which has ruled for 22 decades, has been a failure".

"The forthcoming Assembly elections will put an end to its rule in that state. The will herald the return of the opposition and ouster of the ruling BJP," he claimed.

Though the RJD is not contesting polls in Gujarat, Prasad has been making appeal to voters to support there.

Answering a question on Prasad's remarks, Deputy Chief Minister and senior leader Sushil Kumar Modi told reporters, "He (Prasad) has been sitting here in and appealing to Yadavs (his castemen) of Gujarat to vote against If he has the guts, he should himself go there and take part in the campaign".

"His ally is contesting the polls but has not sought his presence during electioneering. Be it Yadavs, Patels or any other caste groups, all are with the BJP in Gujarat. The party will return to power with a huge majority", Sushil Modi said.

At the TV programme, Prasad also fended off charges of promoting "dynasty rule" levelled against his RJD and the Congress, saying "why is such a big fuss made out of this among politicians when it is considered normal for the child of a lawyer, a doctor or any other professional to follow in the footsteps of his or her father".

"If people like Prime Minister and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath are thought to be above dynasty, it should be remembered that they do not have family, hence, have no offsprings who could have followed them in the field of politics," Prasad said.

Rahul Gandhi's comment in the US recently that dynasties are commonplace in India, from politics to business, had triggered a fresh round of debate on the issue of politicians promoting their family in politics. Prasad whose wife and children are active in politics from his party has been accused of promoting "family politics".

While Prasad's wife Rabri Devi is a former chief minister of Bihar, his younger son Tejaswhi Yadav served as deputy chief minister in the Grand Alliance and is Leader of Opposition at present.

The RJD chief's elder son Tej Pratap Yadav was a senior minister in the previous Grand Alliance ministry of JD(U), RJD and Congress.

His eldest daughter Misa Bharti is a Rajya Sabha member from RJD.

Asked whether he would accept the leadership of the Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the RJD supremo said "absolutely".

"The Congress is a party built on sacrifices made by leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi," he aid.

On whether he would persuade leaders like Mamata Banerjee and Sharad Pawar to accept Rahul Gandhi as their leader, the RJD supremo said, "When the time comes we will sit together and take a decision. To think and talk about the issue now would be premature".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, December 07 2017. 18:45 IST