Patna: Prominent Indian politician Lalu Prasad, who heads the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), has said there is a larger conspiracy behind the demolition of historic Babri mosque in Uttar Pradesh on the eve of 25th anniversary of its demolition which has changed the course of Indian politics.
When he was chief minister of Bihar, Prasad ordered the arrest of Lal Krishna Advani, the BJP patriarch leading the protest procession from Somnath to Ayodhya to demand the construction of Ram temple at the disputed site.
On Tuesday, Prasad said the demolition was a ploy to weaken the movement for backward empowerment after the Indian government implemented the Mandal commission’s recommendations on job quotas.
“The Babri masjid issue was raked up just to weaken the empowerment of backward classes following the implementation of the Mandal Commission report on job reservation,” Prasad was quoted as saying in local English daily Hindustan Times on Tuesday.
According to him, the implementation of the Mandal commission brought huge political and social change which confounded the BJP.
“Eventually, it raked up the Babri mosque issue to divert the people’s attention from real issue to religious sentiments. Their call for Mandal versus Kamandal (religion) is proof of that,” he said.
He alleges the BJP has once again taken to the old issues of Babri mosque and triple talaq only to divide the nation and divert the people’s attention from the issue gripping the common men.
“The Centre has failed on all fronts and is playing politics of religion,” he alleged adding the raking up the old issues, such as Babri mosque, was a strategic ploy to divert country’s attention from real issues, such as unemployment, farmers’ distress, demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax. “But such attempts would not succeed anymore,” he predicted.
Prasad had become a national hero overnight soon after he arrested Advani who was leading the rath yatra or “chariot journey” in October 1990 as his journey reached Patna and was about to cross into the boundary of Uttar Pradesh. Prasad who was the chief minister of Bihar then also seized Advani’s rath.
Its fallout was tremendous. Although the then VP Singh government at the Centre fell down, Prasad emerged as one of the powerful leaders in the country. Based on the strong support coming from the Muslims and certain backward sections, he and his family ruled Bihar for 15 years.
A very interesting twist to the entire story is that a former bureaucrat who arrested Advani on the instruction of his then boss chief minister Lalu Prasad too has also found a place in Narendra Modi cabinet. Raj Kumar Singh who once arrested his own party leader Advani was inducted as a minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet during its recent reshuffle in September this year.
Singh who was a 1975 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer had hit the headlines when he arrested the firebrand BJP leader Advani who was leading a “rath yatra” (chariot tour) from Somnath in Gujarat to Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh in October 1990 while Prasad was the chief minister of Bihar. Advani was arrested in Samastipur district of Bihar and his arrest followed the instruction from Prasad who wanted to prevent communal violence at all costs.