The Yadav-dominated village of Ichhanbigha — the hometown of Lalu Prasad’s daughter Rohini Acharya’s in-laws — voted aggressively, with many saying they want Lalu Prasad “to restore Yadavs’ pride after being ignored by the JD(U)”.
The village has never had electricity — except for one month in 2002 when Rohini married engineer Samresh Singh — but many residents say “lalten (lantern) bhakabhak jal raha hai”. Rohini has promised to bring electricity to the village.
Ichhanbigha, part of Karakat constituency, has 1,696 voters, 70 per cent of them Yadavas. The RJD has fielded former minister Kanti Singh, who is up against sitting JD(U) MP Mahabali Singh and RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha — the frontrunner in the constituency.
“One may call it caste polarisation, but since the CM or the local MP never came here, and only the RJD candidate paid a visit, we must vote for Lalu,” said Satendra Singh. Most Yadavs here have Singh as their surname.
Lalu last visited the village to condole the death of his daughter’s father-in-law, Rao Ranvijay Singh, a retired teacher.
Villagers have hear of a “Modi wave” sweeping Bihar but the elders dismiss it. “It is in the media. There is no wave here. It is true that the RJD is in a direct contest with the NDA. We know Modi can come to power but Lalu may still have enough clout to get us electricity,” said Guddu Yadav, a businessman and a farmer.
Harinath Singh, an advocate, said Mahabali Singh had once told them that since the village gave him “only 20 votes the last time, there is no question of Lalu’s relative’s village getting electricity”.
Asked why they trust Lalu despite having not got anything substantial during the last time the RJD was in power, Harinath Singh said, “Laluji has given us a community hall, a school up to class VIII and cemented roads. “