Debating India

Lalu attacked at accident site

Friday 22 April 2005

Special Correspondent and Agencies

Blames it on Narendra Modi Government, wants it dismissed

JPEG - 12.8 kb
QUICK RESPONSE: The Railway Minister, Lalu Prasad, on a visit to the accident site, makes his way through a crowd as volunteers watch from the damaged coaches of the Sabarmati Express at Samalaya, Gujarat on Thursday. — Photo: AP

QUICK RESPONSE: The Railway Minister, Lalu Prasad, on a visit to the accident site, makes his way through a crowd as volunteers watch from the damaged coaches of the Sabarmati Express at Samalaya, Gujarat on Thursday. — Photo: AP

VADODARA: The Railway Minister, Lalu Prasad, said here on Thursday that he would urge the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, to sack the Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, and impose President’s rule in the State.

Mr. Prasad, who was heckled and attacked by Sangh Parivar activists when he visited the site of the Sabarmati Express accident at Samlaya, 26 km from here, lashed out at Mr. Modi. Gujarat was no one’s "personal fiefdom" that others could not enter the State. "This country belongs to all of us and that rat cannot stop me from coming to Gujarat," he told the media at Vadodara airport.

Mr. Yadav cut short his visit as scores of Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activists continued to shout slogans and heckle him. Even at the SSG Hospital in Vadodara, where the rail accident victims were admitted, a group of Sangh activists started shouting slogans against him and threw stones at his car.

Car window smashed

The rear window of the car was smashed and Mr. Prasad’s personal assistant was injured. Some Congress supporters who were also present at the spot raised counter slogans but were outnumbered by the Sangh activists.

A Bajrang Dal spokesman said the Sangh activists were angry with Mr. Prasad because of his "continuous anti-Modi campaign." During a brief chat with the media at the Vadodara airport before he returned to Delhi, Mr. Prasad said the law and order situation in Gujarat had "collapsed" and it was a fit case for the imposition of President’s rule. Accusing Mr. Modi of "instigating" Sangh activists to attack him, Mr. Prasad said that even the State police did not come to his rescue.

Claiming that the Gujarat police had been "totally communalised" under the Modi regime, he said that if he had any premonition he would have brought the Railway Police along with him. He said that an "attempt on his life was made" and blamed the Chief Minister for the incident.

"How can you attack and throw stones at a Central Minister?" Mr. Prasad asked. He said that on his return to Delhi he would call on Dr. Singh and the President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and inform them about the "collapsed law and order situation" in Gujarat and demand the imposition of President’s rule. He said he would also raise in Parliament the fact that attempts had been made to prevent a Central Minister from visiting the State. "No one can stop me, I will keep coming to Gujarat whenever needed," he said. He said that "hooliganism" would not be allowed and that the Sangh parivar activists "would not be spared."

In Delhi, RJD MPs resorted to slogan-shouting in Parliament, accusing Mr. Modi of "masterminding" the attack on Mr. Prasad, which was countered by the Opposition members.

SPIP | template | | Site Map | Follow-up of the site's activity RSS 2.0