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Lalu fasts for caste census data release, calls Modi ‘Kaliya Naag’

Lalu Prasad

Patna: A day after Narendra Modi reached out to Bihar’s Yadava voters introducing himself as a native of the land of Lord Krishna, RJD chief Lalu Prasad hit out at the Prime Minister, calling him “Kaliya Naag”, a mythical serpent the Hindu God had slain, and asserting “we will crush him”.

“Krishna had slain Kaliya Nag. It has been reborn as Narendra Modi and is biting entire Bihar. We Yaduvanshis (people belonging to the Yadav clan) will crush him again and uproot his party from the state,” Prasad told reporters as he began a day-long fast for the release of caste census figures, accusing the Centre of suppressing it.
Modi, at a BJP rally in Muzaffarpur yesterday, sought to reach out to the Yadavas, Lalu’s mainstay, by addressing them as “Yadu Bhai” and introduced himself as a native of Lord Krishna’s land.

Lalu, known for his penchant for the dramatic, arrived at the fast venue at Gandhi Maidan on a tonga, horse drawn carriages that are being used by his party for campaigning for the Assembly polls.

Demanding immediate release of the caste census figures, Lalu said the data would reveal the real numbers of Scheduled Castes and Schedule Tribes, which he claimed had increased three times over the years. The last caste census was conducted in 1931 during the British rule.

The new data will form the basis for increased reservation for the downtrodden and separate outlays for welfare programmes for them, he said.

“There is a constitutional provision for proportionate reservation for SCs and STs according to their population. At present it is being given on the basis of their population as per the caste census of 1931. When the figures of the new caste census come out, we will demand reservation for them on that basis,” Prasad said.

“We know that the new caste census figures are very alarming. The population of SCs and STs has more than tripled since 1931 and the BJP-led central government is trying to suppress it so that it doesn’t have to give the poor their rightful due,” he said.