In what could be a major jolt to the RJD, senior party leader and former minister Chandrika Rai has said he would soon join the Janata Dal (United).
Rai has claimed that other RJD leaders too were disenchanted with the current leadership and might join hands with Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar.
Rai, who served as transport minister in the Grand Alliance government in Bihar, had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Saran.
Father-in-law of Lalu’s son and former Bihar health minister Tej Pratap Yadav, Rai has had a strained relationship with the RJD chief’s family after Tej Pratap sought a divorce from Rai’s daughter Aishwarya. She had accused her in-laws of torturing her before she moved out of Lalu’s house about two months ago. Rai said: “I might soon make an announcement… I have full faith in Nitish Kumar’s leadership.”
Without naming Tej Pratap, he said, “There was someone who had criticised Tejashwi Prasad Yadav for not campaigning adequately. But no showcause notice was issued to him (Tej)… There has been huge disgruntlement in RJD.”
JD (U) spokesperson and state minister Neeraj Kumar said, “Though it is up to our party chief to take a call on Chandrika Rai’s wish to join our party, his displeasure exposes new inner contradictions in Lalu Prasad’s party…”
RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tewary said, “It is entirely Rai’s decision. But he must acknowledge that RJD has given him name and fame. His leaving the party would not affect us in any manner.”
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