THE power struggle has been settled, and the brief claim of Lalu Prasad’s eldest child, Misa Bharti, to his political legacy has been stamped out. As brother Tejashwi Yadav, much younger than her, is projected as the chief ministerial candidate of the Mahagathbandhan, Misa has not much of a role other than as star campaigner of the RJD.
Having been nominated to the Rajya Sabha, the 44-year-old has reconciled to sticking to Delhi, leaving the stage for Tejashwi.
Named by Lalu after the infamous MISA (Maintenance of Internal Security Act) under which he was held during the Emergency, Misa first came to attention when her father had to step down following fodder scam charges and Rabri Devi took over as CM. With sons Tej Pratap and Tejashwi less than 10 years old at the time, Rabri turned to her eldest for support and advice.
An MBBS, though she has never practised medicine, Misa impressed with her speaking skills. However, once the brothers came of age, the parents made their choice clear. Sources say it wasn’t just the question of choosing sons over the daughter, one logic was that there were five other daughters who could lay a claim.
Still, Misa, married and a mother of two, did fight back. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, she wrung for herself a ticket from the Pataliputra constituency, thwarting Lalu aide Ram Kripal Yadav. An angry Ram Kripal not just crossed over to the BJP but also defeated Misa from Pataliputra by about 26,000 votes.
While Misa was sent by the RJD to the Rajya Sabha in July 2016, in 2019 she again managed a ticket against Ram Kripal from the same seat. She again lost. In July 2017, the Enforcement Directorate raided three premises in Delhi of Misa Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar in a moneylaundering case.
When Tej and Tejashwi were battling it out for the power stakes, Misa had been seen as backing Tej, with the tacit support of Rabri.
With this election Tejashwi’s coming-out polls, in which his advisors are keeping even Lalu in the background, Misa is likely to be pushed further into the sidelines. RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tewari said: “Misa Bharati has been one of our star campaigners. As of now, we have no details of her campaigning. She may come at a later stage.”