The tenure of Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi as chief ministers remained in news both for in-laws and outlaws. When Lalu got married to Rabri from Gopalganj, his in-laws were in fact financially better off, and Lalu was ostensibly picked for his political future. Follow Bihar elections LIVE updates
Once Lalu became CM, and more specifically, after Rabri took over the post, Bihar saw the rise and rise of her brothers Anirudh Prasad alias Sadhu Yadav and Subhash Yadav. The RJD chief gave Sadhu two terms as MLC on sports quota in the mid-1990s, and in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, Sadhu stood from the Gopalganj seat and won, even as Subhash was nominated to the Rajya Sabha same year.
Though the men never faced any case, the BJP accused them of shielding the accused among the spree of kidnappings in Lalu’s time, and “managing” poll booths. In a 2015 interview, Sadhu said they were “victims of perception”.
In 2005, the RJD lost power in Bihar, and Lalu’s own children came of age and started demanding a share in the pie. One of the first signs of tension with the brothers-in-law was the removal of Subhash’s car from the VIP parking slot at Lalu’s residence. Then, Sadhu rebelled, after wife Indira was denied a ticket in the October 2005 Assembly polls. She fought as an Independent and lost.
Sadhu tried his luck again for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. With Gopalganj a reserved seat by then, he sought a ticket from West Champaran. Lalu though gave the seat to then ally LJP, which fielded filmmaker Prakash Jha. Sadhu fought on a Congress ticket from the seat. Eventually, both Jha and Sadhu lost and the BJP won. In the process, Bihar got a new political slogan: “Ashram (Sadakat Ashram, Congress headquarters) ko Sadhu mil gaya, aur Sadhu to Ashram”.
But Sadhu’s stint in the Congress lasted three years. Now 55, he is contesting from the Gopalganj seat as a BSP nominee against BJP MLA Subhash Singh and the Congress’s Asif Gafoor, grandson of former CM Abdul Gafoor. His candidature is being seen as more of a vote katua (splitter). The seat voted on Tuesday.
Subhash, 53, meanwhile, seems to have given up on politics and is running a gas agency.
The two brothers who don’t get along themselves are not believed to have had any contact with Lalu’s family since a decade, when they all came together at the funeral of their father. Two years ago, however, Sadhu had landed up at a dharna held by nephew Tej Pratap at a police station in Patna.
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