Losing member of Parliament Ram Kripal Yadav may just be the tip of the iceberg as far as Lalu Prasad's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is concerned. At least seven others, including senior leaders and MLAs, are expected to quit the party if their interests are not taken care of.
Kripal resigned as RJD general secretary last week upset over Lalu's daughter, Misa Bharti, being given the ticket to contest from Patliputra, a seat that he claims he had been hankering for for the last year or so. He is in talks to join the BJP while Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) has come knocking on his doors to join the party. "All options are open for me as of now," Kripal told dna.
Among those who are likely to walk out of the RJD door are the party's head in the Legislative Council Ghulam Ghous, RJD's state youth president Shiv Chandra Ram, leader Surendra Yadav and four MLAs.
"After giving a 10-day notice to the party, Ghous is very close to joining the ruling JD(U). He even met chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday to discuss the modalities," a source who did not wish to be named said. Ghous, who, according to sources, is upset with the RJD for not allocating any minority seat to OBC Muslim candidates, is expected to join the ruling JD(U) in Bihar, an announcement for which is imminent. Ghous' admission to JD(U) will be a shot in the arm for Nitish, considering the Samajwadi Party Dal (Democratic) merged with the JD(U) on Sunday; Nitish lost two leaders — Chhedi Paswan and Birendra Kumar Choudhary — to the BJP last week.
"The MLAs know the ground reality very well. With the kind of background that RJD leaders have, it is very difficult for the functionaries' morale to remain high, especially at a time when anti-corruption is so high in the people's conscience," state JD(U) president Bashisth Narayan Singh told dna.
Just like Ghous, RJD's Bihar youth president Shiv Chandra Ram did not get the desired Mahua seat for the assembly elections. "He still remained in the party on the back of promises that he would be accommodated in the Lok Sabha elections, which too did not happen. He is also likely to resign soon," said a source. It is not clear which party Ram will go to.
Four RJD MLAs too are on course to join the JD(U). Led by rebel Samrat Choudhary these four, among the 13 who had gone to the Bihar Assembly speaker to be recognised as a separate block, are now seen as being "unattached" with the RJD. Expelled JD(U) MP Shivanand Tiwari had maintained that it was Nitish Kumar who had engineered the split in the RJD but Lalu managed to win over nine MLAs.