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Lalu Is Back In Business!

April 18, 2024 06:44 IST
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'Lalu is Lalu. His presence in the election campaign will make a difference for the Mahagathbandhan.'

IMAGE: Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in Patna. Photograph: ANI Photo

Ending days of speculation -- would he campaign in the Lok Sabha elections or not? -- Lalu Prasad Yadav on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 launched the election campaign from the Saran parliamentary constituency, seeking support and votes for his daughter Dr Rohini Acharya, the Rashtriya Janata Dal candidate.

Lalu chosen the auspicious day of Ramnavmi to launch his election campaign from Saran, his karambhumi.

Lalu was 29 years old when he won his first Lok Sabha election in 1977 from Chapra, now Saran.

The last time he won the Saran Lok Sabha seat was in 2009.

"Laluji did not campaign for RJD candidates in Gaya, Aurangabad, Nawada and Jamui (all of which will vote on Friday, April 19, 2024, the first phase of the Lok Sabha election). Laluji kicked off the election campaign from Saran," an RJD leader told his reporter.

'Laluji began his election campaign from Saran, his karambhoomi. There was a high demand for it,' Lalu's younger son Tejashwi Yadav, who is the RJD's lead campaigner, said.

Lalu, Tejashwi added, will campaign for all remaining phases of the polls in Bihar.

Tejashwi has been aggressively campaigning for the RJD and other Mahagathbandan candidates and has addressed 47 elections meetings so far.

Dr Rohini Acharya -- who donated a kidney to save her father's life in 2022 -- makes her political debut in Saran; incumbent MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy is the BJP nominee. Rudy won the election in Saran seat twice, in 2014 and 2019.

IMAGE: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra D Modi at an election meeting in Gaya, April 16, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

Lalu's entry on the campaign trail will pit him directly against the Bharatiya Janata Party's Narendra D Modi and the Janata Dal-United's Nitish Kumar.

"Lalu is Lalu. His presence in the election campaign will make a difference for the Mahagathbandhan," a political observer points out.

Anticipating Lalu's appearance on the campaign trail, Modi, the BJP's Amit A Shah and Nitish Kumar have already been targeting Lalu during their election meetings in Bihar.

Modi has visited Bihar thrice in the last 12 days to campaign for NDA candidates in the fray for the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections.

Besides, Modi and Shah, Rajnath Singh and Yogi Adityanath have also campaigned in Bihar.

The RJD is contesting 23 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. The Congress will contest 9 seats, the Left parties 5 seats and the Vikassheel Insaan Party 3 seats.

The BJP is contesting 17 seats, the JD-U 16 seats, Chirag Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) 5 seats. Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) and Upendar Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Morcha are contesting one seat each.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP-led NDA won 39 of Bihar's 40 seats. The Congress won the Kishanganj seat The RJD did not win a single seat.

Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/

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