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11 May, 2009

Bihar leaders woo Chandigarh’s migrant population

Chandigarh, May 11 (IANS) Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha Monday addressed election rallies in this union territory in an attempt to woo the sizeable migrant population from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Railway Minister Lalu Prasad addressed a rally in support RJD candidate Haffiz Anwar-ul-Haq. The RJD has fielded a candidate from Chandigarh for the first time.
“This is a very special election as labourers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar will decide the fate of the country. There are some forces that are trying to disintegrate our strength but we have to overcome all such forces,” Lalu Prasad said in his speech peppered with his trademark wit.
“I appeal all my brothers and sisters here to press the button before the symbol of RJD only,” he added.
Lalu Prasad also pointed out that despite the global recession, the railways had registered profits of over Rs.90,000 crore (Rs.900 billion).
Bollywood actor Shatrughan Sinha, who is contesting from Patna Sahib constituency in Bihar, also addressed a rally here Monday in favour of BJP candidate Satya Pal Jain.
Sinha, who spoke in a mix of Bhojpuri and Punjabi, addressed a rally in Vikas Nagar, a shanty town where a huge number of migrant families from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh reside.
“The latest report of Indian Statistical Institute revealed that there has been an increase of 20 percent in people living below poverty line. But the government is trying to suppress that report,” he pointed out.
“The Congress has done nothing for the common man. In the last one year, nearly one-and-a-half crore (15 million) people have lost their jobs. Therefore, I appeal to the masses to vote in favour of the BJP candidate,” said Sinha.
Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav also addressed a rally here Thursday in support of his party’s candidate B.V. Goswami.
Chandigarh has a population of nearly 1.1 million, of which an estimated 350,000 are migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.