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RJD and GA may feel absence of Lalu Prasad’s magic in upcoming Lok Sabha polls

RJD and GA may feel absence of Lalu Prasad’s magic in upcoming Lok Sabha polls
March 14
08:19 2019

By Madhu Mishra


PATNA: Former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and his party, Rashitrya Janata Dal (RJD), will feel the absence of the party chief Lalu Prasad during the the upcoming Lok Sabha.

Prasad has been in the jail since December 13, 2017, after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CB) special court, Ranchi, sentenced him to three-year-and-a-half year’s imprisonment in connection with fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from Deoghar Treasury as part of the fodder scam.


Although Tejashwi has been declared the heir apparent of Lalu Prasad and allowed to lead the party, senior party leaders including former chief minister Rabri Devi and Tejashwi still rely on the RJD chief to take call on all major issues, including the negotiation of seats with allies and strategizing campaign for the crucial Lok Sabha polls.


Maner MLA and party spokesman Bhai Birendra said that although Tejashwi is a good leader, he cannot make up for Lalu Prasad and his ability to influence the national politics. “We will surely miss Lalu

 RJD and GA may feel absence of Lalu Prasad’s magic in upcoming Lok Sabha polls

Prasad’s witty and crowd pulling speeches during the campaigning for Lok Sabha elections. He is a true mass leader and has the capacity to counter the surge of the saffron party,” he added.


Aware of the problems Tejashwi and Rabri Devi might face it hard to tide over the dissension that might creep in after distribution of tickets, the party has authorized the party chief to finalise selection of the candidates to be fielded in the polls. No wonder that every candidate to try their luck in the election on the RJD symbols needed the seal of Prasad from the jail.


Some senior leaders said that the RJD would be able to contest at least 30 out of 40 Lok Sabha seats and win a respectable number of seats had Prasad been out of jail. “In his absence, Congress is virtually ruling the show in negotiation of seats among the Grand Alliance (GA) partners. In the last Lok Sabha polls, Congress was not only offered the seats where it was weak, but also the RJD had fielded its candidate on two leaders on the Congress symbols,” they added.

 RJD and GA may feel absence of Lalu Prasad’s magic in upcoming Lok Sabha polls

Sensing urgency of the situation that led to image makeover of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after terror attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama of Kashmir and subsequent surgical strike by the Indian Air Force across the Line of Control (LoC), the party has moved a bail petition in the Supreme Court for Lalu Prasad. “The petition has been listed at the bottom. Our counsels are trying to get the bail petition heard by the apex court by mentioning the urgency of the case on Friday,” said a close confidant of Prasad.


As Lalu Prasad languished in the jail, the RJD could not muster up the courage to hold any mega rally in Bihar or in Jharkhand. The Congress and the NDA have organised mega rally at Gandhi Maidan in the last two months, but the RJD has not planned any such mass gathering. 


The Jharkhand High Court had earlier rejected Lalu Prasad’s petition for regular bail in the fodder scam cases, in which he has been sentenced 14 years of imprisonment. The CBI has also booked Prasad in the IRCTC scam—on the charges of getting land in lieu of offering lease of railway hotels—that pertained to his stint at the Railway Minister.

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