RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav’s conviction in the fodder scam case on Monday is likely to have a decisive bearing on the process of political realignments in the state. As the Congress explored its options in Bihar,the party was split vertically over the choice of the prospective ally.
Given Lalu Yadav’s unwavering ‘loyalty’ to the Nehru-Gandhi family- he was the first one to come to Sonia Gandhi’s defence when she was under attack for her foreign origin in late 1990’s- the party’s old guards were in favour of forming a grand Congress-RJD-LJP alliance,which was expected to be a formidable combine with the potential to corner the votes of Muslims,Yadavs and dalits.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was,however,said to be reluctant to ally with ‘tainted’ Lalu and was making overtures to Nitish Kumar.
Lalu’s conviction is likely to decisively sway the Congress towards the JD(U),although a section of the Congress may still argue for the continuance of go-it-alone policy in Bihar.
Eyeing the Muslim vote-bank,the JD(U) would now be more inclined to join hands with the Congress towards which a sizeable section of Muslims are expected to shift in the wake of Lalu’s conviction.
The JD(U) is unlikely to emerge as a gainer from fodder scam case ruling- and not just because the convicts include one of its MPs and former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra whose son is a minister in Nitish Kumar’s Cabinet.
The state BJP has long been wooing the Yadav community fielding a host of Yadav candidates in the last election and appointing Nand Kishore Yadav as the party’s leader in the state Assembly recently. A weakened RJD may result in a section of Yadavs,and a section of extremely backward castes (EBCs),shifting their loyalty to the BJP.
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