In an apparent reference to plans for new social engineering in national politics, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav today said "Mandal Express is moving" and those desiring to board could do so, lest they would miss it.
"Mandal (those entitled to Mandal Commission report) is the need of the hour. It is in response to Kamandal to protect social justice," Prasad said at a press conference here.
"Mandal train has started. Those willing to board are welcome while those not interested will miss it," added the former Bihar chief minister, whose bonhomie with JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar revived after the former Jaiprakash Narain disciples were drubbed by the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections.
'Mandal' symbolised political changes in early '90s in Bihar in the wake of implementation of Mandal commission recommendations providing reservation to OBC in jobs which helped RJD rule in Bihar for 15 years. 'Kamandal' refers to political movement in the wake of Ayodhya temple movement in the '90s which helped BJP ride to power.
"I know whom you are indicating (Nitish Kumar) to or those whose stomach has started aching (for his joining hands with Nitish)," Prasad said when asked about the alliance.
"Nitish Kumar was 'ours'. He grew up in secularism, but went to BJP and allowed it to grow. JD(U)'s divorce with the BJP led to vote division... we defeated BJP in RS elections in Bihar, and not the independent candidate as we knew the BJP's design," he said.
Claiming that the RJD's foundations were based on social justice, idealism, principles and secularism, Prasad said Nitish fought LS elections separately and his party got 15 per cent vote share while the RJD had 30 per cent vote share.
"It was a combined 45 per cent. The BJP would not have been in the picture had they fought (in alliance)," Prasad claimed.
"Do you mean to say we should give it to BJP," Prasad said when asked on the performance of Bihar, against which Prasad had been scathing ever since the JDU-BJP alliance dethroned the RJD from power in the state.