Lalu derailed Bihar when in power: Congress

Monday, October 18, 2010

NEW DELHI - In a no-holds barred attack on Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad, the Congress Monday said he had “derailed” Bihar during his party’s 15 years in power, but he was unable to do the same with the railway ministry as the central government system was strong.

We respect Lalu-ji personally. But he derailed Bihar in 15 years, Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said.

Referring to Lalu Prasad’s tenure as Railway Minister in the first United Progressive Alliance government, Tewari said the RJD chief was unable to derail the ministry and do its “Bihari karan” as the systems in the central government are very strong.

He said that Nitish Kumar government was making claims about high growth rate as the state’s statistical base was very low.

He said despite the claims of the Janata Dal-United and Bharatiya Janata Party alliance government, there was no indication of improvement of quality of life on the ground”.

Tewari said Lalu Prasad was on test and needs to answer why he took the state to such abysmal depths that even marginal improvement was being tom-tomed by the state government.

Asked about the Congress support to the RJD government in Bihar, Tewari said it was due to polarisation of politics between communal and secular forces that happened in the nineties.

Tewari said he did not see the possibility of a post-poll alliance. He said the party’s morale was high and it was getting good support of the people.

Tewari targeted Nitish Kumar for his criticism of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi over the use of central funds by the state government.

“We are the opposition party in Bihar and it is our responsibility to ask from the state government whether the money was spent on development,” he said.

Tewari also quoted figures to say that Bihar got more than double the funds under the United Progressive Alliance government than it received during the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

The first phase of assembly polls in Bihar will be held Oct 21.

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