'Tent-wallah' gives jolt to Laloo, joins JD (U)

Updated on Apr 11, 2004 04:17 PM IST

Niranjan Kushwaha, better known as Laloo's tent-wallah, bid adieu to his 'guardian' and joined the JD(U).

HT Image
HT Image
PTI | ByMayank S Singh, Patna

Niranjan Kushwaha alias Pappu, better known in the political circles here as Laloo Prasad Yadav's tent-wallah, bid adieu to his 'guardian' and joined the JD(U) in the presence of senior party leaders at a function held here on Wednesday.

Kushwaha, president of Bihar Pradesh Yuva Kushwaha Sangh, was, at one time, treated as a member of Laloo's family. Be it a private function, like wedding of Laloo's daughters or party functions like rallies and meetings, Kushwaha was a permanent fixture, arranging everything from tents to chairs.

Only about two months ago, he had organised a rally of the Yuva Kushwaha Sangh and invited chief minister Rabri Devi and Laloo as the chief guests. But, all that is in the past, now.

HTtalked to him to know why he took this decision:  I have taken the decision with a heavy heart. For years, I treated him as a guardian. I was there whenever he gave me a call. But, the only time I needed him, he gave me a ditch.

My brother was killed a few weeks ago. Laloo, of all the people, didn't even bother to call me up and offer a word of sympathy, leave alone visiting my house or sharing my grief. That was the last straw. I decided to leave, although, in his own words, I could do almost 'anything' for him.

On Laloo's reaction to his brother's killing: My political rivals are to blame for the murder of my brother. Laloo is definitely not involved in the killing. Lalooji never tired of saying Pappu to mere ghar ka ladka hai (Pappu is like a family member). But, when I lost my brother, he shunned me. Had a Yadav been murdered, Lalooji would have raised a hue and cry, the district police would have swung into action and the culprits nabbed in no time. But the killing of a Kushwaha meant nothing to him.

On Laloo's response to his joining the JD(U): Lalooji called me up in the morning, but, I did not take his call. There is nothing left between us now. Had I talked to him, I would have betrayed my family members, who are dead against me having any ties with him.

On the repercussions of his loss in legislative council poll: I am not exactly a novice in the political arena. In the biennial election to the legislative council in 2002, I was nominated by the RJD. It was like a reward for my services to Lalooji and the party. I, however, lost the election due to cross-voting. It still hurts. Lalooji had set up a committee to probe the reasons for my defeat. Nobody knows what happened to that probe. It obviously was an eyewash.

On deciding in favour of the JD (U): Nitish's is the only party giving the Kushwahas their due. The JD (U) have fielded four Kushwahas in the LS elections this time and got Upendra Kushawaha elected as leader of the opposition in the state assembly.

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