Will Lalu Prasad Yadav continue as RJD president, speculation intensifies ahead of party elections. Will Lalu Prasad Yadav continue as RJD president, speculation intensifies ahead of party elections

Laloo Prashad Yadav - India TV Hindi News
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Laloo Prasad Yadav

Highlights

  • There will be a meeting on the election of the national president of the party
  • Decision can be taken after seeing Lalu’s ill health

Bihar Politics: Bihar’s main opposition party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), is gearing up for organizational elections amid uncertainty created by the ill health of its founding chief Lalu Prasad. Elections for the post of RJD’s national president are to be held in October this year. According to the program released by the RJD state headquarters, the elections for the units of the party at the booth, panchayat, block and district level will start from August 16 and will continue till September 6. On September 21, elections will be held for the party’s state presidents and members of the state executive and the apex body National Council. The council meeting will be held in Delhi on October 11 to elect the party’s national president.

RJD founder Lalu

Lalu Prasad formed the RJD in 1997 after splitting the Janata Dal. Lalu Prasad Yadav, who has always been elected unopposed to the top post of RJD (National President), is currently holding the party’s 11th consecutive term in this post. Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is serving a sentence in the fodder scam cases, was last declared elected unopposed to this post in 2019.

Will Tejashwi replace Lalu?

There has been speculation for some time whether the ailing Lalu Prasad Yadav will consider stepping down. The party functionaries and workers seem to have accepted Tejashwi Yadav, the younger son of Lalu Prasad Yadav and his political heir, as their leader. Youth leader Tejashwi’s stature has increased when the party performed brilliantly in the 2020 Bihar Assembly elections under his leadership. In this election RJD emerged as the single largest party in the state but failed to get majority. The rise of Tejashwi, who is currently the Leader of the Opposition in the Bihar Assembly, will signal a “generational shift”, signs of which are visible in moves such as greater participation of upper castes and women in the party.

What about the political ambitions of Tejashwi’s siblings?

However, the rivalry between Tejashwi’s siblings is expected to worsen the situation in case Lalu Prasad Yadav quit the party’s top post for younger son Tejashwi Yadav, considered the political heir. Lalu Prasad’s eldest daughter Misa Bharti and elder son Tej Pratap Yadav are active in politics and both however claim to like Tejashwi. But his “suppressed ambition” remains an open secret.

Lalu’s illness is not a hindrance in his politics – Shivanand Tiwari

RJD national vice-president Shivanand Tiwari who is one of the founding members of the party said that Tejashwi already has a grip on many matters within the party. For example, the current state president Jagdanand Singh is of his choice. So it is not that the young leader needs more support from his father. But Lalu Prasad Yadav should be at the top to keep everyone together. “I don’t think he will resign,” he said. The ill-health hardly makes him unsuitable for the top post of the party.

There is only nepotism politics in RJD.

Lalu Prasad’s arch rival Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United (JDU) believes that the former chief minister’s party is facing “a historic moment” in the organizational elections. In an apparent reference to the allegations of corruption, JD(U) member in Bihar Legislative Council and state spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said that the RJD claims to be a follower of the ideology of Jayaprakash Narayan (popularly known as JP) and Ram Manohar Lohia. We do the same and we have no dispute with their claim. But they should remember that JP and Lohia were always against nepotism and money power politics. The RJD has been accused of being confined around the Lalu family. In this context, Neeraj said that the RJD has a historic opportunity to promote those workers who have neither political background nor deep pockets. We have been doing this in JDU. They can do the same if they have the will power.

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