Lalu Prasad Yadav
File photo of Lalu Prasad and his son Tejashwi Yadav | Twitter
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Patna: After the drubbing it received in the Lok Sabha elections, the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s once-solid Yadav vote bank has begun to look fragile.

Yadavs were stunned that the RJD could not even open its account, and know better than anyone else that the era of Lalu Prasad Yadav is over. They have little confidence in his politically-active sons and daughter to carry on the legacy.

“Lalu ji and his party will never come back to power on its own. He will need an alliance,” said Anil Yadav, a 50-year-old who works in the transport business and calls himself a die-hard Lalu supporter.

Anil resides in Maner, an assembly segment of Pataliputra parliamentary seat, from where Lalu’s eldest daughter Misa Bharati was defeated by BJP’s Ram Kripal Yadav for the second consecutive time. Maner was one of just nine assembly segments out of Bihar’s 243 where the RJD led in these parliamentary polls.

“RJD will win from here in the assembly polls here in 2020; there is an 80 per cent Yadav population here,” Anil said. But it’s a small victory for the community, since even in Maner, the RJD’s lead shrunk from 16,000 in 2014 to 8,000 this time.

The Yadavs seem to be exploring alternative options, as a CSDS-Lokniti post-poll survey this time indicated that only 55 per cent of the community voted for the RJD-led combine as against 64 per cent in 2014.


Also read: Yadav dynasty in Bihar is facing an existential crisis as Tejashwi vanishes


The magic is gone

Lalu is ailing and barred from contesting elections owing to his conviction in the fodder scam cases. He no longer evokes the same magic among Yadavs as he used to. But there are also those members of the community who say Lalu’s heir apparent, Tejashwi Yadav, does not evoke the same emotions that his father did.

“The commitment of the younger generation towards the RJD and Tejashwi Yadav is not as strong as our total commitment towards Lalu ji. Tejashwi Yadav does not inspire them. For them, Narendra Modi’s nationalism is much more attractive than what Tejashwi has to offer,” said Jitender Yadav, who lives in a village in the riverine areas of Maner.

Jitender, a farmer, conceded that many of his younger family members had pressed the “phool” button, the symbol of the BJP, instead of the RJD’s lantern.


Also read: From Lalu & Paswan to Tejashwi & Chirag, 2019 marks a generational shift in Bihar politics


Lalu, though, is still held in absolute reverence among Yadavs. “Had he been out of jail, RJD would not have been wiped out, and would have won at least a couple of seats. He would have galvanised his supporters to go and vote — something his sons and daughter could not do,” said Jitender.

Another Yadav who sat beside Jitender and refused to give his name went a step further, hinting at the lack of confidence in the RJD family’s next generation.

“Tejashwi makes speeches but fails to reach out to his voters. Lalu ji knows many voters residing in far-flung villages by name, and used to call them out. Tejashwi failed to do so — he is unable to communicate with his supporters,” he said.

Everyone in the community knows about the family feud, and has little hope from them — they call Lalu’s older Tej Pratap “mad cap” and Misa “greedy”. “She is a Rajya Sabha MP. What was the need for her to contest the Lok Sabha polls? The ticket could have been given to a more deserving candidate,” the other Yadav said.


Also read: Men are also victims of patriarchy. Just ask Tej Pratap Yadav


BJP going for the kill

In the Lok Sabha polls, all the Yadav candidates fielded by the RJD and its allies lost, while those put up by the NDA won. This indicates a definite split in the Yadav votes, which make up 14 per cent of Bihar’s electorate. The RJD’s old Yadav-Muslim social base has been eroded.

The BJP has been eyeing the Yadav votes in Bihar since 2013, when Narendra Modi had said in a rally that he had a natural claim over Yadavs as he hailed from Dwarka (Gujarat, the city of Lord Krishna, from whom Yadavs claim descent). The BJP and its allies did not succeed while Lalu was around, but now that he’s out of action, there is a rising belief that they can take away a major chunk of the RJD’s votes in the assembly polls too.

Not surprisingly, there are whispers that state BJP chief Nityanand Rai, a Yadav and Amit Shah’s junior minister at the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, could be projected as CM candidate, to give Yadav voters an alternative to vote for.

“If our MLAs have not already started deserting the party, it’s because they’re not sure the NDA will reward them with a ticket,” said an RJD MLA.

But the MLA also pointed out that even a leader as senior as Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has openly declared that Tejashwi is not a political leader, and that the post of Leader of the Opposition in the assembly was thrust upon him by his father.

Tejashwi’s failure has opened doors to a new social base for the BJP, which could also bring down the curtains on an era of Bihar politics which started in 1990 when Lalu became chief minister.


Also read: Lalu wants to build a grand political family for 2019 but all’s not well in his own family


 

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8 Comments Share Your Views

8 COMMENTS

  1. The RJD is a vicious neo-nazi casteist party like the DK/DMK motivated by unprovoked self-cultivated hatred of a section of Hindus. Surprisingly, one person called Jha is associated with this anti-social gang and is busy peddling separatist casteist agenda in all democratic forums and this person calls himself “Professor”.

  2. It is not a question of Tejashwi or anyone else like Akhilesh or even Rahul – it is question of remaining relevant with the changing sociopolitical situation at a given age and time. Had even Lalu ji been there, there would hardly have been any difference in results. As the successive elections would show, there had been ever reducing vote share of RJD over the years.
    Lalu ji in Bihar became relevant as a formidable anti Brahmin anti forward class leader. He became a pivotal point of a social change that would take shape with him at the helm. Elsewhere in the country too this ethos was taking shape in one form or other. Lalu ji was too popular in his early days. He too struggled a lot and did taste the bitterness of life of a very poor … living a poor life in a village and later in the Bihar capital too. He did feel the pain and suffering of the last man in the society and did have an urge to do something for him. He did it too to a great extent. The people sitting in the last lines started getting favour in all fields and their social status started uplifting. This passion in him made JP love him during the Bihar agitation days. He was well sought after leader in Delhi when he became an MP in 1977. But soon this passion became arrogance in him and was trapped in nepotism and corruption too and then there was no coming back …. he just went too far.
    Bihar politics is too fragile. His social engineering did keep helping him for long though. The people who came up socially due to him did keep him rewarding. But he was loosing relevance as he lost his cherished agenda and started loosing his base. The Gen Next only saw him as a villain and not as Hero.
    Even Tejashwi must have seen him as a power drunk arrogant Chief Minister giving shelter to alleged criminals and indulging in all sort of corrupt practices. Tejashwi did not see the Lalu ji who did bring certain revolution in social fabric and did live life with the downtrodden. And therefore, Tejashwi will never be able to step into his father’s shoes. Lalu ji has the courage to swallow the defeat as he did struggle in his time. Tejashwi does not have that too.
    Not only in Bihar, Indian polity is undergoing a sea change. People are not accepting anybody only due to his/her being son/daughter of some big one. People like to see him/her earn the place.
    Tejashwi became an MLA and became Dy CM too …. This must have led him to think that politics is all about mathematics …. Away from any history or chemistry. If at all he wants to become a serious player, he has to come back to his people and try earning his place.

  3. political family in India think only their family members are best shouted person in politics will face tough time in future politics Dynasty politics is no more preferred in India .

  4. IT IS BETTER FOR BIHAR ,IF THEY PEOPLE OF
    BIHAR CAN KICK THIS CORRUPT YADAV FAMILY
    FROM BIHAR,BCOZ THEY WILL DO NAUTANKI AND MAKE MONEY THROUGH CORRUPT MEANS
    FOR THE FAMILY.
    PARIVAR VAAD PARTIES SHOULD BE KICKED OUT
    FROM INDIA.

  5. आए हैं सो जाएंगे ,राजा रंक फकीर ,एक सिंहासन चढ़ चले,एकबँधे जंजीर।।।।।।।।।

  6. Public is now in the know that these political dynasts have amassed wealth by making fool of them. Sooner or later law is going to catch up with all of them. No dynast has the answer as to where from so much has come to their families in such a short span of time.
    Good for the country and the people if they dont come back to power.

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