Political pundits had written him off the day Lalu Prasad’s conviction orders were issued by a special CBI court almost seven-and-a half months back.
After two months of captivity, when he was granted bail on December 13, he made phoenix like comeback – rising from his ashes – addressing his poor health, camping in Delhi negotiating seats with Congress, and campaigning in Bihar for the elections with full vigour. The phoenix, however, seems to be going back to ashes. Lalu, who hoped to garner at least 15 seats out of the 40 seats in Bihar on the back of huge sympathy wave – could not better the 2009 tally of four.
In yet another major blow to the political future Lalu, his two jackpots, wife Rabri Devi and daughter Misa Bharti are trailing with huge margins. With both or either of the two in Parliament, Lalu would have at least ensured family’s control over the party, which is paramount for his own significance in the party. In the process, he also lost key former aides. His close aide of over four decades Ram Kripal Yadav walked out of RJD and joined the BJP when Lalu did not give him ticket for Patliputra constituency. Misa lost in Patliputra against BJP’s Ram Kripal Yadav.
In Saran, Lalu’s age- old electoral turf, Rabri Devi lost to BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy. RJD managed to win just four seats. Lalu is putting a brave face. “I am not afraid of anything. I am not an opportunist,” said Lalu Prasad.
Sources in the RJD, however, acquiesce that the rug has been pulled underneath them as the party had been expecting at least 8-10 seats. BJP- led NDA, meanwhile, has emerged as the major gainer and the party’s former ally the ruling JD (U) too has nothing to boast of as it bagged just two seats. Out of the 40 seats in Bihar, BJP won 22 seats and its ally Lok Jan Shakti Party got six seats.