PATNA, 20 AUG
Lalu Prasad-led RJD on Thursday received major jolt ahead of the assembly polls in Bihar as party’s three more MLAs including Lalu’s ‘Samdhi’ Chandrika Rai joined the ruling JD(U).
Son of the former Bihar chief minister Daroga Prasad Rai, Chandrika is the father of Aishwarya Rai who is married to Lalu’s elder son and former health minister Tej Pratap. Two other MLAs who quit Lalu’s party on Thursday and joined the CM Nitish Kumar’s party are the Paliganj MLA Jaivardhan Yadav and the Keoti MLA Dr Faraz Fatmi.
While Jaivardhan is the grandson of the former Union minister and prominent Yadava leader Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav; Faraz, a doctor by profession, is the son of former Union minister MAA Fatmi.
The MLAs who quit the RJD today, belong to well-known political families and their families have significant influence on the electors in their respective areas.
The joining programme took place at the JD(U)’s state headquarters here in the presence of the state’s energy minister Bijendra Prasasd Yadav, parliamentary affairs minister Shravan Kumar and the food and consumer protection minister Madan Sahni.
“Bijendra Yadav formally inducted all three MLAs in the JD(U) by offering them membership of the party,” JD(U) state general secretary (headquarters) Navin Kumar Arya told.
“The RJD is commonly known as the party of Muslims and Yadavas (M-Y) combination. With today’s entry of two Yadavas MLAs (Chandrika and Jaivardhan) and one Muslim MLA (Faraz), the M-Y combination virtually came into the fold of the JD(U) which is the party of A to Z castes and social groups,” Arya explained.
Earlier on Monday, three other RJD MLAs—Maheshwar Prasad Yadav (Gaighat assembly constituency), Prema Choudhary (Patepur-reserved) and Ashok Kumar (Sasaram) had joined the JD(U) after deserting the Lalu Prasad’s party.
With the Thursday development, altogether 11 RJD legislators left the Lalu’s party and joined the Nitish Kumar’s party in the last two months. Earlier on June 23, the RJD’s five MLCs had defected to the JD(U).
Though reports about Chandrika and Faraz joining the RJD were doing the rounds in the state’s political circles for the last several weeks, the case of Jaivardhan has come as a surprise for the RJD leadership. “No one in the RJD had expected such a move by the grandson of the once great Yadava’s leader Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav,” a senior RJD leader said.