UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu: “I can go to jail 1,000 times for poor, Dalits & backward”
Lallu told NH that there were 14 prisoners sharing his barrack in the jail. This could have been risky due to COVID-19
A day after his release from jail on bail, UP Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu sounded firm and unyielding.
Unfazed by the experience of being confined to jail for almost one month even while the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, Lallu, who comes from a poor OBC family, said over the phone that he is ready to sacrifice his life for the poor.
In his first interview after being released from jail, Lallu shared his priorities, Congress’s plan to take on the BJP-led government in the state, and how he spent time inside Lucknow jail.
Lallu, who worked as a daily wage worker before joining politics and becoming president of the most crucial states of India, told NH that there were 14 prisoners sharing his barrack in the jail. This could have been risky due to COVID-19, but Lallu has no complaint.
“Like other prisoners, I would get up early in the morning, and stand in queues for tea, breakfast, lunch and dinner. I needed to wash my utensils. I am a common man; I don’t need special treatment. Like others, I was assigned physical work by the jail authorities,” he said over the phone.
Outlining Congress’s plan of action vis-a-vis ‘VYAPAM-like education scam’ that recently came to the fore in UP, Lallu said that Congressmen will hit the streets over the scams, corruption, and lawlessness in the state.
“UP me jungle raj hai na ki kanoon ka raj (there’s jungle raj in UP),” he said.
When asked what if Yogi Government puts him in jail again, Lallu replied, “I am a soldier of the Congress party. I am a soldier of Rahul Gandhi. We have a glorious tradition of struggle since the time when India was fighting for freedom. I take my inspiration from the freedom struggle. I am not afraid of going to jail,” he asserted.
“The walls of a prison cannot stop our strong ideas. If Ajay Lallu has to go to jail a 1,000 times for the sake of oppressed, deprived, Dalits, backwards and workers, I will not take a step back,” he said.
Stating that the Coronavirus pandemic had laid bare “inability and anti-poor face of the Yogi government”, Lallu emphasised that the BJP governments – whether it is Modi government or the Yogi government – believe in suppression, not in democracy.
“Actually, Yogi Government is afraid of its own misdeeds. Rattled by scam after scam, the UP government resorted to suppression tactics but that is not going to work on me,” noted Lallu.
Lallu, who was in jail since May 21, was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday. He was arrested in an alleged case of forgery in the buses for migrants’ cases.
After his release, Lallu paid his respects at the statues of B.R. Ambedkar, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Mahatma Gandhi in the Hazratganj area of Lucknow.
It may be recalled that though Lallu was granted interim bail by an Agra court on May 21, he was arrested again by the Lucknow police on charges of alleged forgery the same day. Later he was shifted to a Lucknow jail where he was lodged for almost a month.
He was denied bail two times – first by a sessions court in Lucknow and then by the Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court. However, he was granted bail in the third attempt.
Published: 18 Jun 2020, 3:14 PM