March 21, 2018

Lalu runs party from jail, to decide candidates for Rajya Sabha and council elections

Elections for five Rajya Sabha seats from Bihar falling vacant next month will be taking place on 23rd March. It is almost certain that RJD and JDU will be bagging two seats each while BJP will get one seat, however, what remains interesting is the selection of candidate for the two seats which RJD is certain to win.

Amid hectic political lobbying taking place in the RJD, what is noteworthy is the fact that the candidates for the two seats will not be selected by RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, who is in-charge of the party, but by RJD supremo Lalu Prasad who is serving jail sentence in the fodder scam case after his conviction. This was made clear at the meeting of the RJD parliamentary board at the residence of former chief minister Rabri Devi, 10 Circular Road, few days back. In the meeting it was decided that the two candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections will be selected by Lalu from jail.

It may be noted that there are several names doing the round within the RJD for the two seats which includes senior party leaders Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Shivanand Tiwary and Jagdanand Singh. What has complicated the numbers game for the RJD is the inclusion of Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), former NDA ally into the Mahagathbandhan fold. According to sources, HAM national president and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has switched sides on the assurance that he would be sent to Rajya Sabha on RJD ticket.

On the other side, 11 seats of Bihar Legislative Council are also vacant on 6th May and the candidates for these elections will also be decided by Lalu from Birsa Munda jail. Meanwhile, by-election for Araria Lok Sabha and Jahanabad and Bhabua assembly seats are scheduled to be held on 11th March. Lalu, earlier, had announced from jail that the RJD will contest all the three seats, but after the Congress expressed its willingness to contest the by-election for the Bhabhu seat, Lalu obliged and allowed the Congress to contest the elections on the seat.

All this is manifestation of the reality that Lalu may have handed over the reign of the party to his younger son and former deputy chief minister Tejaswi Yadav, but all decisions relating to the party are taken by him from jail.

Courtesy: India Today

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