Who Else But My Son as My Successor, Says Lalu Prasad

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Patna:  For those uncomfortable with parties built around dynasties, some amount of steadying of nerves may be required. Lalu Prasad Yadav, Bihar leader and expert quip-maker, has declared, “Who else but my son will be my successor?”

Lalu, as he is popularly referred to, heads the regional Rashtriya Janata Dal or RJD. Earlier this week, the 67-year-old told his party’s top leaders that his son (he has two, and did not specify which one) will replace him as chief someday.

“If anyone has a problem with this idea, he or she is free to leave the party,” Lalu said, clarifying matters for Pappu Yadav, a senior leader of the RJD, who has recently been skirmishing with him.

Pappu, an MP from Madhepura in North East Bihar, has said the RJD is “not a monarchy in which a successor can be nominated.” In February, he had said he saw himself as RJD chief someday.

Pappu (real name Rajesh Ranjan) has voiced his veto of Lalu’s announcement to join a new alliance of six parties, all members of the former Janata Parivar. Pappu says he cannot accept working with Nitish Kumar, currently the Chief Minister of Bihar, and his Janata Dal United, which for years was the RJD’s main political rival.

In 2008, Pappu was found guilty by a Bihar court of murdering a Left leader, but was acquitted in 2013 by a higher court.

Lalu has two sons – Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejasvi Yadav. Both are expected to contest the Bihar state election later this year. Their sister, Misa Bharti, lost the national election last year, but may join them as a candidate in the assembly election, said sources.

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