Patna: It’s now official. RJD boss Lalu Prasad will be running his party from inside the Birsa Munda Central jail. A meeting that was hurriedly called after Lalu was sentenced to five years jail term in connection with fodder scam decided that Lalu will be calling the shots from the jail and his wife Rabri Devi would be his second-in-command in his absence. Rabri Devi also took the opportunity to dismiss reports of her contesting the Chapra Lok Sabha seat after it fell vacant due to Lalu’s conviction.
Briefing the press after the much-hyped meeting, party general secretary Ram Kripal Yadav said, “Lalu and Rabri will jointly be running the affairs of the party, Lalu will run party from inside the jail and Rabri Devi will be lead us from outside.” This is not the first time that Rabri was given reins of the party as earlier also when Lalu had to quit as chief minister of Bihar following his involvement in fodder scam, Rabri was instantly made the CM of Bihar and she ran the party.
Senior leaders from RJD attended the meeting but senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh was conspicuous with his absence. It was said that Singh could not make it for the meeting as he was unwell but sources said that he was upset as there was a power tussle in Lalu’s family over who would control the party during Lalu’s absence. Rabri Devi, however, has denied charges that her family was indulging in dynastic politics.
In the meeting Lalu’s made his presence felt when a message to his party workers was read out. Lalu in his message urged party workers to fight communal forces in the state. It was also decided that Lalu not getting a fair deal in fodder scam would be raised at all party meeting underway in many districts.
But what came as a surprise during the meeting was silence of both Lalu’s sons. Tej Pratap and Tejasvi who have been launched in politics in May this year did not address the party workers, though they were present on the dais. Sources in the party say that this was done to avoid any sort of revolt in the party in the event of a signal being sent out that reins of RJD was being given to Lalu’s sons. It is amply clear that senior party leaders like Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Prabhunath Singh and Abdul Bari Sidiqui have expressed their reservation over Lalu’s sons controlling the party though they accepted Rabri as their leader. Sources say that both sons of Lalu did not address the party workers because of power tussle between both brothers. It all happened at Lalu’s directions.
Rabri also dismissed reports that she would contest from Chapra and her eldest daughter Misa was a contender from Patna Lok Sabha seat.