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After JD(U), RJD to try luck in Delhi civic polls

RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s announcement, that his party would contest the civic polls in Delhi, indicated a growing competitiveness among ‘grand alliance’ partner to stretch their footprints beyond Bihar.

india Updated: Apr 06, 2017 12:57 IST
Anirban Guha Roy
Anirban Guha Roy
Hindustan Times, Patna
MCD polls,RJD,Lalu Prasad
Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad. (HT file photo)

PATNA After the JD (U) and Congress, it is now the turn of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), senior partner in Bihar’s ruling, three-party grand alliance (GA), to throw its hat in the ring for the 272 wards of the north, south and east Delhi municipal corporations, to be held on April 23.

The decision to put up candidates for municipal corporations of Delhi (MCD) elections was announced here on Sunday by RJD president Lalu Prasad.

“We will put up candidates in the MCD polls,” Prasad said, although he did not say how many seats the RJD would contest in Delhi urban bodies’ elections, in which the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Congress and the BJP are the major players.

Observers here were of the view that the RJD’s decision to try its electoral luck in the MCD polls indicated to a growing competitiveness among GA partners to expand their electoral base to beyond the geographical boundaries of Bihar.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar-JD (U) has already announced its candidates for a large number of MCD wards, as has the Congress, another GA partner.

The RJD move to contest the MCD polls was announced on a day on which the RJD chief’s elder son, health minister Tej Pratap Yadav rode a horse-drawn chariot in Patna to promote the DSS (Dharmnirapeksha Sevak Sangh), a socio cultural organisation he has floated to ‘counter the RSS’.

Voicing intent to promote the little-known DSS, especially among the youth, Tej Pratap advised senior BJP leader Sushil Modi to join his organisation. This came in response to Modi’s advice to Tej Pratap earlier to join the RSS so that he could understand the working of the organization and inculcate discipline among his followers.

For his part, Lalu had some encouraging words for his elder son and his nascent outfit. “It is an organisation of the youth and is committed to the cause of secularism,” the RJD chief said.

Prasad demanded a high level inquiry into the possibility of tampering of EVMs, in light of the recent incident in Madhya Pradesh where a voting machine, during its trial run, had allegedly dispensed only slips bearing the BJP’s lotus symbol, irrespective of the button pressed.

“Top leaders of the country are demanding the same. There should be proper enquiry as how EVM machines could dispense BJP slips only,” he said. Prasad had joined the BSP and AAP in demanding a probe into the possibility of EVM tampering, following the BJP’s scintillating win in the UP assembly poll.

Asked about the demand for elevating RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to the post of President of India, the RJD chief said: “The BJP is in power at the centre and can get elected anybody of its choice to the top post. Nobody is being consulted in the matter,” he said.

SPECULATION RJD decision hints at growing competitiveness among GA partners to expand electoral base beyond Bihar

First Published: Apr 02, 2017 21:11 IST