PATNA: Even as RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was interrogated at the CBI headquarters in New Delhi Thursday in connection with the Railways' hotel tender scam, one of his top aides shocked many in the party by hitting out at the upcoming internal party polls and fuelling speculation that he may be on his way out from the party.
RJD national vice president Raghuvansh Prasad Singh described the party's organisational polls, scheduled to be held on November 20, as an "eyewash". RJD would also pick its national president during these polls, and Lalu Prasad Yadav will likely be anointed to the post for the 10th time in a row. He was elected the party chief for the ninth consecutive term in January 2016.
"The schedule of the elections has been decided. They will run a membership campaign for three days, and elections will be held in the next three days. What is this? Clearly eyewash," said Singh, an upper-caste leader and former Union minister who has been staunchly with Lalu through his good and bad times since
Dismissing the RJD's organisational polls as perfunctory exercises "only to meet the statutory requirements laid down by the Election Commission", Singh said: "This is done only to maintain formalities. The names (of leaders to be chosen) are decided beforehand, though nobody will say this on record."
Singh's statements, coming at a time when the crises-ridden RJD is trying hard to keep its flock together, caused ripples in Bihar's political circles. With Lalu, his younger son Tejashwi Yadav and eldest daughter Misa Bharti in New Delhi to face interrogation by the CBI, Lalu's wife and former chief minister Rabri
Devi had convened a meeting of all RJD legislators and senior leaders Wednesday to present a show of unity in the party.
"There is no such thing as that," said senior RJD leader and former MP Jagadanand Singh when asked about Raghuvansh Prasad Singh's comments. "The party stands solidly with its chief and his family,"
Sources said RJD leaders are worried that Lalu and Tejashwi may be arrested by the CBI in the hotel tender scam and it could unleash chaos in the party. This fear had reportedly prompted Lalu to schedule
the RJD's organisational polls in November, though it was originally scheduled next year.