Indian Express

Ram Kripal Yadav: Loyalist on the way out

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At his New Delhi home Tuesday after meeting Bjp leaders at the airport. Prem Nath Pandey. At his New Delhi home Tuesday after meeting Bjp leaders at the airport. Prem Nath Pandey.

Tight-lipped about his views on Narendra Modi, the RSS and the BJP, the party he is set to join Wednesday, RJD MP Ram Kripal Yadav said it was dignity rather than the question of a ticket that led to his decision.

“It is not true that I left the party over the issue of a ticket. I left for the sake of my dignity,” Ram Kripal told The Indian Express Tuesday. He was yet to resign his primary membership though he has quit all party posts.

Sources close to him said continued friction with Lalu Prasad’s elder son, Tej Pratap, had left the former RJD second-in-command unhappy for a long time. They said Tej Pratap was frequently rude to Ram Kripal and those within the ranks identified as his men.

Tej Pratap has apparently dominated the party’s micro-management, installing his own men and blunting Ram Kripal’s long-cultivated influence, which the sources cited as one of the reasons behind the latter not getting the ticket of his choice. Ram Kripal’s close aides describe Tej Pratap’s style of functioning as “humiliating”.

“Ram Kripal initially ignored the brashness because of Tej Pratap’s age, but then Tej Pratap started interfering in his work,” said a party functionary.

The Ram Kripal camp, however, has a softer view of Tejaswi, Lalu’s younger son. “He is respectful to elders, unlike his elder brother. He has been working hard to build a young wing,” said a party worker.

Incidentally, Ram Kripal’s son Abhimanyu and Tejaswi are said to be friends and went to the same school in Delhi.

Ram Kripal will make a formal announcement of his joining the BJP Wednesday, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said. Prasad was among those deputed to engineer the negotiations. Ram Kripal met the BJP’s Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Murli Manohar Joshi, Prakash Javadekar and Prasad at the Delhi airport Tuesday upon arriving from Patna. The BJP leaders were on their way to various destinations.

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