Zee Media Bureau/Kamna Arora
Patna: Soon after Lalu Prasad Yadav was convicted in the multi-crore fodder scam case by a special CBI court in Ranchi on Monday, the son of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief vowed to fight the verdict electorally.
In public, RJD leaders are trying to project the party as united. However, reports claim that some want Rabri Devi, Lalu`s wife, to lead them to add to the fame of the RLD leader.
"Rabri Devi is our leader. She is still there to guide us," party secretary general Ramkripal Yadav told a news agency.
On the role of Lalu`s son Tejaswi Yadav, Ramkripal said the RJD would take a decision on the future role of leaders.
The timing of the verdict dents the prospects of the RJD, which was apparently gaining ground it had lost in the state. After the Janata Dal (United)-Bharatiya Janata Party split, Lalu was seen firming his lost position.
No matter, how much efforts the Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders put in to water down the whole situation arose out of the 65-year-old Lalu`s conviction and jailing, the party`s future is at stake.
The effect of the verdict will be huge. After the pronouncement of quantum of punishment by the special CBI court, Lalu Prasad is expected to lose his membership of Parliament.
How will the RJD function? Who will lead it? Who will decide on party affairs? And how will Congress react?
The increasing proximity between JD(U) and Congress in the wake of the former`s split with the BJP is quite evident.
Now, RJD activists fear that Congress may abandon the RJD in the time of crisis and shake hands with Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar.
Nitish has refused to comment on the verdict and the BJP has hailed the decision as the historic one.
The regional game players are all set to take the advantage of Lalu`s absence and grab his supporters, especially Yadavs who constitute more than nine percent of Bihar`s 105 million people.
For some, BJP`s prime ministerial candidate -- Narendra Modi – and Lalu`s conviction will help them woo Muslims, who constitute 16.5 percent of the population.
Bihar, which elects 40 MPs, is crucial in the electoral arithmetic for any party to gain power at the national level.