Deserted by senior leaders Ram Kripal Yadav, Shakuni Choudhary and Ghulam Gous, RJD chief Lalu Prasad is depending for campaigning largely on his family besides Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Prabhunath Singh.
RJD legislature party leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui is only significant Muslim face in the party.
Besides Lalu Prasad, wife Rabri Devi, daughter Misa Bharati (party candidate from Pataliputra) and sons — Tej Pratap and Tejashwi Prasad — have already joined the campaign. While Misa has started meeting electorate in Pataliputra, Tejashwi was focussing on galvanising young voters through Yuva Sammelans. Tejashwi, 24, could have been a party nominee, but he was underage, while Tej Pratap does not have much inclination towards active politics.
“Tech savvy” Tejashwi, who invited his “Facebook friend journalists” over tea, asked for “one line, slogans and punches” on the social networking site. But the young leader would have been disheartened as he did not get any good suggestion. One respondent has come up with old slogan “Jab tak rahega samose me aaloo, tab tak rahega Bihar me Lalu”, but sources said Tejashwi cannot accept such “down market, clichéd and flippant” catchline for the party.
Former CM Rabri Devi, who recently exchanged garlands with husband while starting campaign from Saran seat, said: “The party will not suffer from leaders like Ram Kripal leaving the party”. Misa has echoed her mother’s sentiments, saying that her party would be in direct clash with the BJP and her opponents in the fray do not matter for her.
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Misa, like Tejashwi, has shown maturity and has made all politically correct statements despite the media prodding her to speak against Ram Kripal “chacha”.
Tej Pratap, who is in-charge of LARA (taken from first two alphabets of Lalu and Rabri) in Aurangabad besides other business interests, has a team of over 200 youths, mostly his former college batchmates from Patna, Danapur, Maner and Naubatpur.