Ram Kripal Yadav joined the BJP as expected Wednesday, severing a bond of 35 years with Lalu Prasad after his mentor denied him the ticket to Pataliputra, and whom he now attacked for “family-oriented politics”.
Once a fierce critic of Narendra Modi, whom he had called a “virus”, Ram Kripal made the announcement wearing a badge with Modi’s image on it. This was at the Delhi BJP office, in the presence of Rajnath Singh and all top leaders from the Bihar party unit.
“Had Narendra Modi not been carrying out welfare measures for minorities, there wouldn’t have been such visible development of the community in Gujarat,” he told The Indian Express. “The condition of Muslims in Gujarat is much better than in Bihar, according to the Sachar Committee report.”
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The Pataliputra ticket is understood to be part of the deal with the BJP, which is expected to announce the decision on Friday after a meeting of its central election committee.
“Any party where family is given more priority over hardworking, loyal party workers will eventually suffer. The RJD will suffer more cracks in the coming days,” Ram Kripal said, with Lalu having given the ticket to his daughter Misa Bharati.
Ram Kripal had been an RJD general secretary for 17 years. He said he has written to the Rajya Sabha to move his seat in the house away from where RJD members sit.
He is expected to be the BJP’s Yadav mascot in Bihar, which does not have many leaders to woo the influential vote bank. The Muslim-Yadav vote bank will shift , he said. “Let me tell you, people in the RJD don’t approve of the way the party is being run these days,” he said.
Ram Kripal is taking with him a chunk of lower and middle-level party workers of the RJD in Bihar, who promised their allegiance to him during his meetings with them in Patna Monday. The entire Delhi RJD unit, including former national youth wing secretary Tanveer Alam, went with Ram Kripal.