Patna: RJD star campaigners’ list released on Thursday dropped the names of Lalu Prasad Yadav’s eldest daughter Misa Bharti and elder son Tej Pratap Yadav for the upcoming by-elections to a couple of assembly seats in Bihar.
The elder siblings is seen as being sidelined in the party founded and headed by the father who has made little secret of his preference for younger son Tejashwi Prasad Yadav.
The list comprises 20 names, which is signed by the party’s principal national secretary general Abdul Bari Siddiqui, including Lalu Prasad Yadav himself who is now out of jail and, if his health permits, can canvass for his party’s candidates for Tarapur and Kusheshwar Asthan.
Another prominent exclusion is of Mr Yadav’s wife and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi, a demure housewife-turned-politician who has of late seemed more content playing the role of a matriarch in the family that often betrays hints of being torn apart by competing ambitions of her children.
RJD sources, however, asserted that much should not be read into the development since even those not figuring among “star campaigners” do happen to canvass for the party, provided the candidate in the fray is willing to foot the expenses.
Nonetheless, the BJP, which is now the RJD’s principal rival in the state, latched on the opportunity.
“It is a clear signal to both Tej Pratap Yadav and Misa Bharti that they are no longer desired in the RJD and they must fend for themselves. Tej Pratap has already floated his own organization while Misa, a Rajya Sabha member, looks unlikely to be considered for another term,” state BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said in a statement.
The Congress, which has been left in a daze by the RJD’s unilateral announcement of candidates for Tarapur and Kusheshwar Asthan, also appeared to be hopeful of getting something out of the dynamics of the family that controls its senior ally.
Ashok Ram, who had contested the reserved Kusheshwar Asthan seat in assembly polls last year and whose son Atirek is the candidate for the bypoll, was quoted in a section of the press as saying that he will try to rope in Tej Pratap for the Congress campaign.