The much-touted arrogance of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad in the Lok Sabha ticket distribution, which drove away many of his close associates, seems to be just a superficial reason behind the decisions. What lies behind the palpable arrogance is the story of a helpless father bowing before children clamoring for succession.
Lalu's eldest daughter Misa Bharti is believed to have given two options to her father before the finalisation of the RJD's list of candidates on March 6 in order to ensure that her name is there in the list. A source close to the development told dna, "Misa very clearly told her father that you either save the party or save the family. And Lalu obviously chose the daughter over the party and gave her the Patliputra (Patna) seat.''
Misa had also thrown in her hat when Lalu tried to promote his younger son Tejashwi Yadav before going to jail post the fodder scam verdict in October last year. His sons too are eager to take over the party. "Both the sons have been coaxed into working in the state and contest for assembly elections in preparation for the bigger role within the party and also in the future elections," the source added. The key leaders who have deserted RJD after being snubbed by Lalu are Ram Kripal Yadav, who joined Bharartiya Janata Party and Ghulam Gaus, who has joined the ruling JD (U) in Bihar. Gaus was an RJD MLC.
Now both the leaders are expected to give a tough fight to the RJD and take on its big leaders in the upcoming elections. While Yadav will fight against Misa in Patliputra, Gaus will contest against stalwart RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui from Madhepura.
An RJD functionary told dna on condition of anonymity, "During the ticket distribution Lalu has not taken care of the backward Muslims, who will now vote for JD(U), which is the only other option for the community. With this strategy, JD(U) has rightly fielded Ghaus against Siddiqui, who will have to face a tough time in the seat, which would have been otherwise a cakewalk for RJD."