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Lalu supports Patel reservation demand, says BJP anti-backward

Janata Parivar press conference

Patna: Extending “full support” to the stir by Patel community in Gujarat demanding OBC status and reservation, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad today hit out at the BJP calling it “anti-backward and anti-social justice”.

“We fully and strongly support the demand for reservation by Patel and Patidar castes in Gujarat as it has the theme of social justice in its root. RJD is with them and will fight together with them,” Prasad told PTI.

Prasad said the BJP-led Gujarat government was ignoring the “just demand” of the backward people in the state and trying to “oppress them into submission”.

“It is now established that the BJP headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is anti-backward and anti-social justice. They have always been opposed to reservation for the poor and downtrodden,” he said.

However, the RJD leader added that he was opposed to arson and violence in Gujarat.

“Nobody will appreciate violence. The agitation should be peaceful … The people of Gujarat are demanding their rights,” Prasad said.

Prasad is currently a part of secular ‘grand alliance’ forged by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar led JD(U) and Congress, pitted against BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the forthcoming Assembly elections in Bihar.

The RJD chief, whose politics over the last three decades has largely revolved around reservation for backward castes, said he was “giving a call to his party-workers to remain united with Patel community in Gujarat.”

Referring to the release of figures pertaining to religious profile of the country as per 2011 census by the Centre, Prasad pointed out that BJP has not revealed caste census data for the country, but has “revealed religion data by way of numbers of Hindus, Muslims and Christians” present in the country.

The RJD chief added that he was touring different parts of the state to awaken people about the danger posed by BJP to social fabric of the country and was exhorting them to unite against it.

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