Former CM Rabri Devi has been named a vice-president in RJD’s new national executive committee along with four other senior party leaders, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Mangani Lal Mandal, Mohammed Iliyas Hussain and Shivanand Tewary. The composition of the new committee was announced Wednesday. RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who is in jail following his conviction in fodder scam cases, reportedly named Rabri the vice-president as her leadership would be readily accepted by senior leaders. Prasad had been chosen RJD’s national president about three months ago for the 10th consecutive time, but he had not announced the new national committee.
The RJD chief has brought his sons Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and eldest daughter Misa Bharti in the national executive, the highest decision-making body of the party. Among others in the national executive are Jagtanand Singh, Ram Jethmalani, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Rajniti Prasad, Manoj Jha and M A A Fatmi.
Former Siwan MP and strongman Mohammed Shahabuddin, who too is in jail, has been dropped from the national executive committee, but his wife Hina Shahab, who has contested two Lok Sabha elections from Siwan unsuccessfully, has been included.
“BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi had been criticising Shahabuddin’s presence in the highest decision-making body of the party, so we got Hina Shahab in his place. Inclusion of Tej Pratap and Tejashwi was expected with our party president Lalu Prasad being away from the scene of action,” said an RJD leader.
He added that making Tej Pratap or Tejashwi a vice-president would not have sent a good message. “Rabri Devi has been CM for nearly eight years and has wide acceptance in the party. She would play the role of leader along with some seniors to guide the party’s day-to-day activities. Though her position is equal to that of four other senior leaders, she will be there as Lalu Prasad’s emissary,” said the leader.
The RJD chief has named S M Qamar Alam principal general secretary of the party. Eight senior leaders have been named national general secretary.