RJD mantle on Rabri
Scotching rumours of a possible leadership tussle in the RJD ranks, following the jail term awarded to party chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in the fodder scam, a meeting of senior RJD functionaries on Sunday decided that Lalu’s wife Rabri Devi would take over the party’s reins.
“There is no need for any coordination team as Laluji is capable of taking all the decisions,” said senior RJD leader Prabhu Nath Singh.
Lalu would continue as party president and Rabri Devi would lead the RJD in his absence and would manage the party’s day-to-day functioning. In fact, Rabri had served as Bihar Chief Minister from 1997 to 2005.
“We will go ahead with party programmes under the leadership of Lalu-Rabri. Our leader Laluji became a victim of the conspiracy hatched by the BJP, RSS and JD(U),”said state RJD chief Ram Chandra Purve.
Also, Lalu’s message from the Birsa Munda Central Jail at Ranchi, where he has been incarcerated following his conviction, urging party leaders to stand united in the fight against the communal forces was read out at the meeting.
However, senior RJD leader and former Union Minister Raghvansh Prasad Singh was conspicuous by his absence at the meeting.
Quite significantly, the issue of the likely anointment of Lalu’s younger son Tejaswi as a possible heir apparent,which had sparked major resentment from some senior RJD leaders did not at all figure at the conclave.
This was despite Rabri’s earlier statement that she would run the party with the help of her son in the same manner that Sonia and Rahul were managing the Congress’ affairs.
“I will run the party with the help of my son, the way the Congress is run by Sonia-Rahul.”
Interestingly, Rabri had on Sunday morning strongly denied reports appearing in a section of media that she would be the RJD candidate from Saran Parliamentary seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
The seat was represented by Lalu until his conviction on September 29.
And the denial came barely hours before the crucial RJD meeting to chalk out the party’s future course of action took place.