For long, Bhola Yadav and Shakti Yadav have been Lalu Prasad’s eyes and ears, gaining proximity to the RJD chief by doing odd jobs, playing the errand boy or troubleshooter with unflinching loyalty.
Their role in Lalu’s circle of aides made them mini ‘power centres’ in their own right, inviting envy from even the top faces of the party. Finally, in this election, they have come centrestage. Yes, the two prominent faces at the RJD chief’s 10 Circular road residence for long - have now been given tickets and are wannabe MLA’s. While Bhola, a sitting MLC, will contest from the Bahadupur assembly segment in Darbhanga, Shakti Yadav has got a ticket from Hilsa seat in Nalanda.
Ticket allotments to them has set tongues waggings, especially from those denied. “After family, the sychophants”, was one comment. Though unassuming in his ways, Bhola’s rise to fame in RJD circles as Lalu’s ‘Man Friday’ is attributed to his astute political sense and his ability to be a cool manager. He was a shadow to the Yadav chieftain in the late ‘90s and later became former CM Rabri Devi’s PA.
Shakti does not enjoy as much clout as the senior Yadav. He is considered more of a hanger-on who managed to get access to the RJD’s first family through his association with senior leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui.
However, Lalu’s close confidants and his personal assistant in Delhi, Vinod Srivastava, is said to be sulking after having being denied a ticket from Motihari town.