Advani lacks stature of Vajpayee: Lalu Prasad

July 22nd, 2008 - 6:04 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Tuesday took a sharp dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani, saying he “lacked the stature” of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “Advani-ji is trying… but he lacks the stature of Vajpayee-ji,” said Lalu Prasad, who was in his elements and had the house in splits throughout his 35-minute speech during the debate on the trust motion.

Lalu Prasad also lampooned the Hindu groups for championing the Hindutva cause and building the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya by asking if they knew what being a “true Hindu” means. “A true Hindu has to go to Gaya (in Bihar) to perform the last rites of his parents, by offering pinda (ritual offering to the departed).”

“How many of you have done this duty?” he asked the opposition benches, as few BJP MPs had the courage to respond.

When someone shouted one could go to Haridwar as well for ‘pind daan’, Lalu Prasad shot back: “Haridwar is not the place to offer the pinda. It can only be done in Gaya,” eliciting loud laughter from the packed house.

He also had the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) partners in splits when he said the government will win the trust vote with a “thumping majority”.

“Hum unko kut kut kar harayenge (we will have them in pieces),” he said with matching gesture with his fist.

Another time, among the many mythological imageries he used to pepper his arguments, he referred to Monday as a day for worship of “Shankar Bhagwan” or Lord Shiva, the day when the trust motion was introduced, and Tuesday as the day for worship of Lord Hanuman, the monkey god revered by Hindus as a protector.

“Hum Hanuman-ji ka gada lekar unke peeth par marenge (we will take Lord Hanuman’s mace and hit the opposition on their backs)”, he said with loud laughter.

The indomitable railway minister rarely gave the opposition a chance to interrupt his speech and had everyone listening raptly. When he finished his speech, the UPA members thumped loudly on their desks in approval.

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