New Delhi: Lalu Yadav, despite being incarcerated in the fodder scam, continues to the towering figure in Bihar politics. On Saturday, the RJD supremo had high-profile visitors in Ranchi jail which included his son Tejashwi Yadav, RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha and new entrant to the “Mahagathbandhan” (Grand Alliance) Mukesh Sahni.
As the political heat gathers steam, the leaders paid a visit to Lalu to seal the seat-sharing formula in Bihar for the 2019 General Elections.
Prasad is lodged at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi on medical grounds, after his conviction in the multi-crore-rupee fodder scam cases.
The RJD supremo is the pivot of the “Mahagathbandhan” in Bihar and hence, Prasad’s approval in finalising the allocation of seats is required.
The Grand Alliance in Bihar comprises of Congress, RJD, Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), Sahni’s fledgling outfit, the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP), former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and veteran socialist leader Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD).
Sahni, a Bollywood set designer-turned-politician who has launched the VIP, joined the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) grouping last Sunday, hours after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the JD(U) and the Ramvilas Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) in Delhi announced the seat-sharing formula among the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) constituents for the 40 Lok Sabha segments in Bihar.
Asked whether he hoped for a bigger share in the Grand Alliance compared to when the RLSP was in the NDA, which had offered him only two of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, Kushwaha, who also reportedly wants the Chatra seat in Jharkhand for his confidant Nagmani, said, “Wait for the opportune time, you will get to know.”
Prasad’s younger son and RJD heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav also met the party supremo after Kushwaha and told reporters that there was no hurry to announce a seat-sharing formula.
“Our priority is to make the NDA bite the dust and not to make the number of seats a prestige issue,” he said.