RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s rally on 27 August at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan is not just a test of political strength of Lalu Prasad but an occasion that would tell how a confused Opposition at national level would move forward post Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s political somersault of returning to NDA and turning an ally from being a prime challenger to PM Narendra Modi. So far, only West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, former UP CM and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and some Left and second-line Congress leaders besides JD (U) rebels Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar Ansari confirming their participation.
Lalu, who might well be cursing floods for not letting his core supporters to think of politics and come to Patna, has been still managing to evoke good response from crowd. Leader of Opposition in Assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and former health minister Tej Pratap Yadav have been doing good complimentary job for their father, who always takes a rally as a reviving force every time he is forced to wall.
What Rs 1,000 crore and rising Srijan scam has done is to allow people forget about CBI and ED cases against Lalu Prasad’s family but put some big question marks on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, during whose tenure the great siphoning from government accounts took place in last 10 years. But RJD also has some questions to ask itself as RJD finance minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui too failed to sniff out the big scam despite a system in placs of audit of district funds by finance department. But Srijan has provided just the political plant RJD seems to be taking as manna from heaven. RJD is trying to let people forget mall and ED raids even though deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi still making fresh allegations against Lalu.
Lalu and his son Tejashwi would talk betrayal of mandate, political vendetta, Srijan and a need of a strong Opposition against PM Narendra Modi. Lalu may score some political points at homefront but absence of AICC president Sonia Gandhi and AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi may not provide the desired boost to Opposition unity.
The big question of who would lead the Opposition charge hangs in air. JD (U) rebel Sharad Yadav has put his hat in ring for a key role in uniting the Opposition. How and what Mamata Banerjee says would further give a lead towards evading Opposition unity. As for Lalu, it would be all gain from position of losing power in Bihar and facing lot of corruption dirt.