Amid uproar over ‘Thakur’ poetry, RJD President Lalu Prasad Yadav on Thursday came in support of his party’s Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha, saying that he has not given any wrong statements against any caste.
RJD president and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav may appear to be in trouble with the resumption of the fodder scam trial and charges of financial impropriety being levelled against his family members. However, political leaders in Bihar, cutting across party lines, believe he can turn the situation to his advantage.
Lalu has proclaimed he will prove his innocence in all the cases while alleging that a political witch-hunt has been launched against him and his family by his adversaries.
“Very few politicians in power will come out unscathed if investigations are made against them. Why single out Lalu,” a senior Bihar politician close to the BJP said. Similar comments were made by politicians of other parties.
Lalu’s image of empowering the downtrodden may stand him in good stead. Though he was convicted in one of the fodder scam cases, his party RJD swept the Bihar assembly elections in 2015, the Narendra Modi wave not withstanding. If he succeeds in conveying the message of a political witch-hunt against him to his voters, he is likely to gain in the parliamentary polls two years from now.
Lalu’s alliance partner, JD-U chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, is playing it safe. The RJD chief’s vote bank remains intact and the JD-U only stands to gain by keeping his company. Nitish Kumar has weighed the subtle overtures from the BJP but is unlikely to jump ship, according to Bihar leaders. If the witch-hunt against Lalu impression sticks, it may be politically advantageous for him.
Bihar BJP leader Sushil Modi, who is spearheading the attack against the RJD chief, doesn’t have many takers even in his own party. He was not named the CM candidate in the last Assembly election and his pressure tactics reportedly annoyed the party leadership.