By Arun Srivastava
PATNA: Bihar is witnessing the worst kind of politicking on the issue of downsizing security for RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. The UPA-1 had provided him with the Z plus security, manned by the NSG commandos. But a couple of days ago, the Union home ministry trimmed his security cover from Z+ to Z. In future, the commandos of the CRPF would take charge of his security. He will no longer be protected by NSG commandos, but by a 35 member squad of CRPF jawans.
This move by the Union government obviously implied that Lalu does not face any threat perception. The NSG commando cover has been removed following a review of the security provided to VIPs. Lalu alleged that this has been done at the behest of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to restrict his activities and movement.
Targeting his ire against the prime minister, Lalu said, “If Narendra Modi thinks I will be scared, I won’t be. All the people, even the children of Bihar will protect me”. Nevertheless, he expressed apprehension that he might be attacked. “I have no doubt the entire exercise has been carried out at the instructions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who does not want me to move out of the house. This move has been taken in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.”
Lalu alleged “I am being targeted by threats of jail and false cases for the reason I did not bow to the BJP and Modi. In the past I did not compromise and in future too I will not compromise with my principles. Let Modi resort to his tricks I will not succumb. Many small leaders of the BJP have been given security in many states. I do not see any justification for the withdrawal of NSG (National Security Guard) cover.”
Lalu also cautioned; “I suspect of an attack on my life. It does not mean I live under fear. If anything happens to me, PM Narendra Modi and chief minister Nitish Kumar will be directly responsible for it.” Lalu also tried to talk to Rajnath Singh but the Union home minister was not available on phone. “The Union home secretary told me he was not aware of the move,” the RJD chief said.
Meanwhile, reacting to the government move in a typical harsh tone, his elder son and former health minister Tej Pratap warned Modi of severe action “skinning him” alleging “a conspiracy was being hatched to kill my father Lalu Prasad Yadav”. His youngest son and leader of opposition Tejashvi also levelled same charge:”some people have been hatching a conspiracy to kill my father” and warned that for this both the central and state governments would be responsible.
The security cover of Jitan Ram Manjhi, former chief minister and president of the Hindustan Awami Party, a BJP ally, and senior rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav have also been slashed. In future, they will have Y+ security. Lalu also questioned the perception behind the Centre withdrawing security of Manjhi, who will now be protected by Bihar police. “I am on the Maoists’ hit list,” complained Manjhi. “It’s the government’s job to give me security.” Manjhi is from Gaya and has a genuine threat from Maoists. He has been left unprotected.
Meanwhile, Tej Pratap’s skinning threat has created a controversy in the state political circles. The BJP leader and deputy chief minister Sushil Modi quipped: “who can threaten Lalu Ji. Bihar is scared of him”. He, however, said: “in fact, it was the fear of losing prominence that was haunting Lalu Yadav”.
Coming out in defence of his son, Lalu Yadav clarified, “If a son comes to know that his father is being conspired against, his security is being revoked, he will react. I don’t approve of this. I have spoken to him not to speak anything like that again.” Union minister Ashwini Choubey said that Tej Pratap should be sent to a jail or mental asylum on charge of abusing the prime minister.
Ironically, Lalu has not rebuked his son Tej Pratap for the skinning jibe. This illustrates the decline in the morality in public domain. Little doubt the public and social quotient for the political tolerance has substantially declined in Bihar. The politicians are no more concerned of maintaining social decency or adhere to moral ethics while attacking and criticizing their opponents. The index of political tolerance has plunged to such a low level that it is hard to differentiate between a ruffian and a practising politician.
The bitterness which crept into the statements of the politicians in the 2015 assembly elections in Bihar has acquired multi dimensional character. This has simply burgeoned after Nitish broke away fro the mahagathbandhan government and joined the BJP-led NDA. Politics in Bihar, which has acquired the dubious distinction of being the pass time of unprincipled persons, has been gradually drifting towards a zone where gentlemen fear to tread. Their behavior has endangered the basic fabric of graciousness in politics.
Hitting below the belt has not been the trait of politics. But in Bihar this is taking place in full public view. From using abusive words to character assassination are now commonplace. JD(U) made public a picture of opposition leader Tejashvi Yadav with a girl. Tejashvi clarified this was a selfie taken by his lady fan. Now, it was the turn of Tejasvi to malign Nitish. He questioned Nitish to clarify the motive behind naming two trains, which he claims are named after his women friends. A few days ago, Tej Pratap had threatened to invade and smash up the marriage venue of deputy chief minister Sushil Modi’s son.
It is unfortunate that the language used by politicians has denigrated beyond comprehension. It is difficult to differentiate between the language of a ruffian and a politician. It is really disturbing that this is happening in the land of Gandhi. (IPA Service)