A day after Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad fielded his daughter Misa Bharti as party nominee to contest from the Patliputra seat in Patna, a senior party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Ramkirpal Yadav has revolted against him. He is now set to join the Bharatiya Janata Party to contest against Misa.
Ramkirpal, who wanted to contest from the Patliputra seat, was shocked when Lalu announced Misa’s candidature on Thursday night.
“Lalu's love for his parivar (family) in politics forced a loyalist like Ramkirpal to say goodbye to the RJD,” an RJD leader close to Ramkirpal told rediff.com.
Angry over Lalu's move to field his daughter, Ramkirpal left Patna for Delhi on Friday morning to meet top BJP leaders before formally joining the BJP.
Misa Bharati on Friday rushed to Delhi to meet party general secretary Ramkripal Yadav following reports of the MP seeking an entry into BJP started making rounds after being denied ticket for the Pataliputra parliamentary seat.
With Yadav not at home, Misa, was learnt, would wait for the leader and end his discontentment over the issue.
Misa said she had little clue that Yadav, who is a Rajya Sabha member, was interested in contesting elections from Pataliputra seat in Patna district.
Asked if she would ask her father Lalu Prasad to withdraw her candidature in favour of Yadav, Misa said, "I will talk to my father only after talking to Yadav and know reasons of his annoyance."
Ramkirpal reportedly said that he was sad over the developments but had not decided his next move. He said he was still with the RJD and had not resigned from the party.
Interestingly, Lalu Prasad on Friday said he had nothing to say about Ramkirpal's reported unhappiness or anger.
Ramkrpal has represented the Patna Lok Sabha seat twice before delimitation of the constituency and has remained a popular leader among all sections of people, cutting across caste and community.
Hundreds of RJD leaders in Patliputra seat are also angry as Ramkirpal had shepherded the party when Lalu was in jail.
Leaders close to Ramkirpal said that both BJP and Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal-United are wooing him to join them to contest polls. But BJP has reportedly offered to put him up as their candidate from Patliputra seat against Misa Bharti.
“Ramkirpal will decide on his move in a day or two,” another leader close to him said.
Lalu's daughter Misa Bharti, is a doctor and has been trying to enter politics for several years.
Lalu had contested the 2009 Lok Sabha polls from Patliputra seat but was defeated by JD-U's Ranjan Prasad Yadav.
Lalu has made it clear that he was daring a political situation by nominating his daughter Misa Bharti, named for her birth during Lalu's incarceration under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act during the emergency.
"Misa Bharti is a daughter as well as bahu (daughter-in-law) of the constituency where I lost the seat by 10,000 votes in the last Lok Sabha polls,” Lalu said.
Lalu has announced the names of candidates for 25 of the 27 constituencies the RJD will contest under its alliance with the Congress for 40 Lok Sabha seats polls in Bihar on Thursday night.
Known as Prasad's Man Friday, Yadav said he has not quit RJD but was sad with the party's decision.
Former Chief Minister Rabri Devi described the incident as a "fight within the family" while Prasad said he was not sure what made Yadav angry.
"I don't know the reason of his anger...Whether it is over ticket or is being instigated by others to protest," Prasad said before leaving for campaigning in Chapra and Siwan.
The RJD supremo said he was confident that Yadav would not 'ruin' his life and career leaving the party.
"Two years of his term in Rajya Sabha are still left. He never staked a claim for the Pataliputra seat before me," Prasad explained.
Sources said that RJD Legislature party leader in Council Gulam Gaus was also angry after being denied ticket for the Bettiah seat.
Meanwhile, RJD has removed Yadav's close aide Randhir Yadav from the post of state party spokesman.
With inputs from PTI
Image: Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi at their daughter Misa's wedding