The return of Lalu: What Bihar victory means for RJD chief and family

  • Anirban Guha Roy, Hindustan Times, Patna
  • Updated: Nov 09, 2015 07:55 IST
To many, RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s masterstroke was when he revived sagging fortunes by offering unconditional support to Nitish Kumar last year to take on the BJP in the state. (Arun Sharma/HT Photo)

The spectacular victory of the grand alliance on Sunday has put RJD chief Lalu Prasad in firm control of the party and also extended his family’s footprint on the political space with the debut of his two sons in the assembly.

The Yadav scions –Tej Pratap and Tejashwi Pratap – secured easy victories from Mahua and Raghopur respectively, bringing solace to a doting father who had seen his eldest daughter Misa Bharti lose in last year’s Lok Sabha polls.

Speculation is already rife that cricketer-turned-politician Tejashwi -- who was a member of the Delhi Daredevils earlier – could be the deputy chief minister in the new Nitish Kumar government. However, insiders said that Lalu, 67, could wait for sometime before elevating his son, just to avoid fresh accusation from the rival BJP of promoting family rule.

In that case, there are chances of eldest son Tej Pratap getting a post in any government body, which will also rule out the possibility of sibling rivalry in the Yadav family.

“The talk of Tejashwi or somebody else becoming deputy CM are mere speculation. Nothing is decided yet,” RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha said.

Party sources said Lalu was also keen on grooming his sons on administrative management as second generation leaders of the party.

Nitish Kumar (R) won’t find working with Lalu Prasad a cup of tea. (Santosh Kumar/ HT Photo)

A senior RJD leader, seeking anonymity, said that Misa could also be given a big role in the party for grooming as a leader or elected to the Rajya Sabha as an MP.

Signalling his own plans, Lalu has already announced his intention to launch a nation-wide campaign against the BJP starting from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi before taking it further east to Kolkata.

But what hangs like a Damocles Sword over Lalu is a litany of court cases related to the infamous fodder scam that had seen him spend time in jail in 2013 before securing bail. He has challenged his conviction in the Jharkhand high court and the ruling in that case could determine his political future.

Watch: How the BJP lost the plot in Bihar

“It is imperative for Lalu to groom his children so that they could run the party and pick up administrative skills for a long haul in politics. The RJD’s big win has given him a new opportunity to implement his plans,” said the RJD leader.

Evidently, RJD leaders are also hopeful that the big haul of seats would lead to an increase in the party’s cadres and also lead to an expansion in few other states to regain the national party status .The RJD had lost the national party status after its debacle in the 2009 parliamentary polls.

“The spectacular win has galvanised the workers and we will see the party expand in many states in the coming days under the leadership of Lalu and Rabri Devi,” said Chandeswar Prasad, a senior RJD leader.


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