High drama was seen in Patna on Friday when RJD chief Lalu Prasad, tied with campaigning, rushed his daughter, Misa Bharti, to New Delhi to mollify senior-most party colleague and Rajya Sabha member Ram Kripal Yadav.
Ram Kripal is said to be upset over the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) not naming him, but Misa as the candidate from the Patliputra constituency in Bihar.
"I am pained. Though I have no resigned from the party, I will definitely arrive at a decision on what to do within a day or two," he said in Delhi.
Read: LS elections: Lalu announces list of 25 candidates
Ram Kripal had earlier made it known that he resented 'parivarvad' (dynastic trend) in the RJD and Lalu ignoring senior party leaders.
He did not receive or meet Misa. Asked if he would join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he replied, “I have not decided.”
There is talk of the BJP making Ram Kripal its candidate from Patliputra or Madhepura if he switches over.
A top BJP leader who did not want to be named said, "You could wait for a surprise at Madhepura."
Read: Lalu Prasad faces revolt after fielding daughter
Lalu, who was to campaign in Saran area for his wife, Rabri Devi, a former chief minister, said, "Ram Kripal is my best MP and the most seasoned politician. He can never ditch me.”
Lalu downplayed talk of rebellion, saying, "(Ram Kripal) Yadav never asked for Patliputra seat and I am not aware of his annoyance. I think he is being influenced by some party. We need him in our fight for social justice.”
Rabri Devi said, "He is like my devar (brother-in-law). He is still in the party and will never leave it. In any case, he has not resigned.”
Misa said, "I will never stand from Patliputra if such a tall leader of the party with over 30 years in politics wants it. He is like my uncle. I am ready to withdraw ".
Ram Kripal’s displeasure came to light on Thursday evening, when Lalu convened a press meet to release the list of candidates for 25 of the 27 seats the RJD will contest in the Lok Sabha polls. The RJD’s allies, the Congress and the NCP, have got 12 and one seat respectively.
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The RJD is grappling with the Rajya Sabha member’s annoyance soon after a revolt by Gulam Gaus, leader of the party in Bihar council.
Gaus said Lalu had ignored backward Muslims to create a Sheikhdom. He said he would take the field independently against the RJD candidate in West Champaran.
Lalu has not yet nominated a candidate for Madhepura. Sources privy to the RJD’s internal workings said the party top brass had sent feelers to Ram Kripal to contest from the seat against Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav.
RJD insiders are worried that a walkout by Ram Kripal will demoralise the party rank and file and benefit the BJP.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Lalu had lost the Pataliputra seat to JD(U)'s Ranjan Prasad Yadav. This time, another rebel RJD MLC, Nawal Kishore Yadav, is being touted as the BJP candidate for Patliputra, which has a huge Yadav segment.