The dwindling position of Rashtriya Janata Dal is expected to revive after its chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was granted bail on Friday nearly after five months of his conviction and sentencing.
The dwindling position of Rashtriya Janata Dal is expected to revive after its chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was granted bail on Friday nearly after five months of his conviction and sentencing. Amid cheer and celebration by supporters, former chief minister and his wife Rabri Devi welcomed the court’s decision and affirmed her party’s unity.
“The party did not weaken. The people of Bihar stood by us. We will fight the Lok Sabha polls with increased confidence. We were sad earlier that while others were given bail, his plea was rejected, but we had full faith in the court,” Rabri said while briefing the reporters.
After Lalu’s conviction, Rabri has been holding the party’s reigns.
Rabri showed hope that the conviction of Lalu Prasad will also be set aside after appeal in a higher court and case proceedings later on saying that she had faith on judiciary.
Hitting out at political rivals, Rabri Devi said they were spreading several misconceptions about defections. “Our MLAs are together. We had a meeting yesterday and everyone was present. There is no rift in the party,” she reiterated.
Although Lalu Prasad won’t be able to contest in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, his active leadership would now benefit the party that aims to strengthen itself.
His party leaders, who were quite dismissive of his son’s leadership and hence gave joint command to jailed Lalu and his wife Rabri after his sentencing, showed solidarity with the party.
“The party rank and file is definitely happy with the court’s decision. Mr. Prasad was a victim of political conspiracy. Mr. Prasad will campaign all over the country,” senior RJD leader Ram Kripal Yadav said.
“Everyone was thinking the party would fall apart, but not a single person left,” RJD MP Jagdanand Singh said.
Lalu Prasad’s sons Tej Pratap and Tejaswi are expected to go to Ranchi to receive their father when he is released from Birsa Munda jail.
“It’s the poor who have got bail today. Those who thought our party will fragment, their dreams have been shattered. We got full support of party workers. Now we would be able to move ahead with increased speed,” Tejaswi told media.
With Lalu coming home, the RJD and its Bihar ally Lok Janshakti Party will try to ally with its old friend Congress. Their position became much clear after Rabri said that her party wants “all parties with a secular and social justice outlook to come on a common platform” which includes Congress even when the party performed quite poorly in assembly elections in four states.
She said that she did not think a tie-up with the national party after its poor show in the five Assemblies would harm the RJD’s prospects. As for the anti-Congress mandate, she said the results were in the backdrop of price rise and poverty which she believed will not harm the RJD.
Meanwhile, the Congress has showed no signs of warming up to the overtures. “Mr. Prasad’s bail is a judicial process and we have faith in the judiciary. We cannot rule out his political stature in Bihar and we recognise it, but we have not taken any decision on alliance. As State party president I would like to contest all 40 Lok Sabha seats,” Bihar Congress president Ashok Choudhary was reported saying.
LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan said that the RJD-LJP vote was always intact. He would be meeting with Mr. Prasad after his release to discuss further political moves.
Lalu Prasad, the great political player as he is known, will surely try to consolidate his position as any harm to the party would mean his political oblivion. It is for us to wait and watch what surprises he throws upon us.