PATNA: Delhi is the favoured destination of Bihar politicians, whether they are already in the national capital or dreaming of gaining a foothold in national politics, while still in their mother state.
The excitement among the Delhi-on-their-mind leaders is palpable as by-elections to the Rajya Sabha are due in June, with three seats up for grabs. The seats have fallen vacant with BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Ram Kripal Yadav and Lok Janshakti Party’s Ram Vilas Paswan being elected to the Lok Sabha. All were members of the Upper House.
The Janata Dal (United), in alliance with the RJD, Congress and two Independents, is in a position to send at least two of its candidates to the Rajya Sabha, while the BJP can ensure at least one seat for itself. While the saffron party may send Shahnawaz Husain, who lost the Lok Sabha election from Bhagalpur, it remains unclear as to who the two JD(U) candidates will be. However, Husain stands a chance of being inducted into the Narendra Modi Cabinet as the party has no Muslim MP in the Lok Sabha.
Sources said Rabri Devi’s name is almost final and the recent support extended by the RJD to the JD(U) Government was part of the political deal between the two parties.
However, Lalu Prasad had denied any precondition to the support for the Jitan Ram Manjhi Government from outside. But the fact is Lalu is “homeless” after the defeat of his wife Rabri Devi and daughter Misa Bharti in the Lok Sabha elections from Saran and Pataliputra respectively. Being convicted in a fodder scam case by a CBI court in last September has automatically made Lalu ineligible for membership to any house.
Probably realising that time was running out for him politically, the former Bihar Chief Minister wrangled one last favour from the UPA Government in its final few days. He got an extension to retain his Tughlaq Road bungalow for another year. He has been staying in the house since 2004. Another senior politician, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, too faces a home dilemma after losing the LS elections from Madhepura.
Yadav had earlier indicated his preference for the Upper House as his party support base has been shrinking rapidly. Only a few days ago, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) leader Upendra Kushwaha claimed that Yadav was in touch with BJP leaders and would cross over to the NDA.