PATNA: Going against the party line, RJD functionary and jailed gangster Ritlal Yadav on Friday filed nomination papers as an independent candidate from Patna local authority constituency of Bihar legislative council at the office of district magistrate here.
As per the poll agreement between the RJD, JD(U), Congress and NCP, Patna constituency has been allotted to the JD(U). However, JD(U) is yet to announce its candidate for Patna constituency. A JD(U) leader said the party might retain its sitting MLC Valmiki Singh as its candidate for this seat.
After filing nomination papers, Ritlal told media that he had the blessings of RJD chief Lalu Prasad. Earlier, accompanied by hundreds of his supporters who were raising slogans like ‘Lalu Prasad Zindabad’, Ritlal reached the collectorate and filed his nomination papers.
Ritlal hit the headlines during the 2014 Lok Sabha electioneering after Lalu appointed him the party general secretary to get his support for his daughter Misa Bharti who was contesting from Patliputra parliamentary constituency against BJP candidate Ram Kripal Yadav.
Then, Lalu had to face criticism in media, especially for visiting Ritlal’s village Kothwan near Danapur and seeking blessings from his father Ramashish Rai, who is the village mukhia. Lalu was then worried as Ritlal had announced his plan to file nomination papers as an independent from Patliputra constituency against Misa on March 25, 2014.
A day before Ritlal’s proposed date of nomination, love for his daughter forced RJD chief to bargain with the jailed gangster and appoint him the party’s general secretary. Sources in RJD had said Ritlal agreed not to contest the Lok Sabha elections after Lalu assured tickets to him and his wife for the 2015 assembly election.
But Ritlal, by filing nomination papers on Friday, created flutter among in both the RJD and JD(U) circles. Some JD(U) leaders believe Ritlal’s case may create chasm between the two parties, if Lalu extends tacit support to the gangster as being claimed by the latter.
In the 2010 assembly election when RJD denied Ritlal a party ticket, he contested as independent candidate from Danapur constituency and got 41,506 votes that threw a spanner in the chances of the party candidate