Dynastic politics have come to stay — and the RJD is no exception. With party chief Lalu Prasad in jail, his wife Rabri Devi is set to lead the party with son Tejaswi. But for now, there is no move to formalise the arrangement, which appears to be the only way to keep the fragile peace within the party.
Prasad’s decision to hand over the reins to Rabri, instead of a core committee, had ruffled the feathers of senior leaders.
Striking a defensive note, Rabri said, “Family rule is a common practice in all parties. But we are not keen on any post.” “People are saying my brother and I are trying to hijack the party. We are just workers just trying to make the party strong,” added her elder son Tej Pratap.
The leaders, however, are not mollified. A section still insists on collective leadership, maintaining that Prasad’s sons are too young to steer the party at this difficult juncture. Others look to Prasad for leadership, since “the biggest challenge now is to keep the party intact”.
This was why, on Tuesday, as Rabri and her son remained closeted in their Patna home, giving audience to a motley crowd of leaders, the action shifted to Ranchi’s Birsa Munda jail.
At least 50 senior RJD leaders have visited Prasad since he was lodged there on Monday. And they all vehemently denied having any differences with him over the leadership issue. Clearly, showing a united front is the need of the hour.