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Lalu lashes out at Maharashtra decision on Mumbai cabbies

Last Updated: Sunday, February 7, 2010 - 22:34

New Delhi: RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav
on Sunday lashed out at Maharashtra government`s recent decision
to give taxi licences to only Marathi speaking drivers and
those who have stayed in Mumbai for 15 years, terming it
"dangerous" and sought Chief Minister Ashok Chavan`s
dismissal.

In an interview to a Hindi news television channel, Yadav said, "the (state) cabinet raised the issue of
domicile and decided that taxi licences will be given only to
those who have lived in Mumbai for 15 years. This is a very
dangerous decision, it will break the country."

A press statement issued by the channel quoted Yadav
as saying that "it was wrong what Bal Thackeray and his nephew
(Raj) did. The country is being divided. Even more dangerous
is what the Maharashtra government did. Rahul Gandhi and
Congress must act. They must dismiss the Maharashtra Chief
Minister".

The former Railways Minister also said that he was
"disillusioned" with the Congress, with whom he was an ally in
the previous UPA government.

"Yes I am disillusioned with the Congress. When the
government (UPA-II) was formed these people did not need us.
They got the minority vote. Votes were given to them due to
certain reasons. When Varun Gandhi`s statement became known
and then Advani was mentioned, people felt he should not
become Prime Minister, so they voted for Congress," the
statement quoted him as saying.

Criticising Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi`s
recent Bihar tour, Yadav said, "We don`t have objections to
anyone coming to Bihar but it is not right to go to colleges
and do politics."

"The way permission was given to visit the
university`s women`s college, we feel it is a wrong trend.
Educational institutions should be kept away from politics,"
the former Railways Minister said.

The RJD chief alleged that "older Congressmen like
Baliram Bhagat, Baleshwar Ram, are being punished. New boys
are taking the centrestage and cocking a snook at these
veterans".

He, however, said that he "has the same respect for
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi as before. She is a good lady. She
may have her own constraints. The new generation has
arrived so she may have certain constraints".

On Rahul Gandhi, Yadav said, "he is being used by sons
of so called kings, that is those who are educated and
computer savvy ... That is what I said in Parliament, there is
a lot of TTM these days in all parties. When someone asked me
what do you mean by TTM, I explained `tabad todh tel
maalish` (sycophancy)".

Asked whether he regretted not having allied with
Congress in the general elections, Yadav said, "no I don`t
regret it. It is not necessary that we remain together
forever. We only supported them where they deserved it. The
rest was not meant to be."

On UPA government`s alleged failure to control price
rise and his criticism of it for the same, the statement
quoted him as saying that "it is not about one man (Sharad
Pawar). It is a collective responsibility. The cabinet cannot
escape blame by holding just one man responsible. If you feel
Pawar is responsible then remove him but government cannot
escape the responsibility for its failure to check price
rise".

PTI



First Published: Sunday, February 7, 2010 - 22:34

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