Ram Kripal Yadav joins BJP, calls Narendra Modi `brother`

Rebel Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Ram Kripal Yadav, who is keen to contest from the Patliputra Lok Sabha seat in Bihar against RJD chief Lalu Prasad`s daughter Misa Bharti, joined the BJP.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Rebel Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Ram Kripal Yadav, who is keen to contest from the Patliputra Lok Sabha seat in Bihar against RJD chief Lalu Prasad`s daughter Misa Bharti, on Wednesday joined the BJP.

BJP president Rajnath Singh made the announcement at the party headquarters here.

The former aide of RJD chief Lalu Prasad thanked Rajnath Singh and the "man who is defining the next era of our nation Mr Narendra Modi".

Vowing to work for the BJP as a grassroot worker, Yadav accused his mentor Lalu Prasad of promoting his family instead of acting for social justice.

Yadav, who had been a close aide of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, joined BJP in the presence of party president Rajnath Singh and senior leaders from Bihar including Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Welcoming him into the party fold, Rajnath Singh said Yadav has been RJD`s secretary general for the last 17 years and had decided to support the BJP.

Expressing his gratitude to the BJP leadership for accepting him into the party, Yadav said he will work for the party not as a leader but as a worker, which he has been for the last 35 years of his political life.

Yadav, a former legislator and a Rajya Sabha MP, accused Lalu Prasad of "promoting" his family over his party workers, who he said, were feeling stifled.

"RJD has moved away from its core values. Lalu gave precedence to his family over party and cadres. I was in a dilemma on what to do for the last few days and then decided to quit the party and join BJP for the sake of giving social justice," he said.

"I have never been a leader. I have been a common worker in my 35 years of working in the RJD. The RJD workers in Bihar are feeling suffocated as family is being given importance. I felt social justice should be taken forward and not family justice," Yadav said in the presence of top BJP leadership.

Supporting `brother` Modi, Yadav said he was proud that BJP had
nominated a tea-seller coming from a backward class as its prime ministerial candidate and vowed to strive hard to make him the Prime Minister. In saying so, he also touted his own humble background.

Lauding Modi for improving the plight of Gujarat Muslims, Yadav accused the Nitish Kumar government of raising the bogey of communalism for the sake of votes and not doing any development work.

He claimed there has been no development of Muslims in Bihar and said, "Muslims have started realising that they have been used as a vote bank. The way Muslims have progressed in Gujarat is an example."

He said he was a "secular person" and would always remain so and praised the BJP and Modi for development of all and not just a community.

"When a tea vendor`s son can be the PM candidate, then why can`t this son of a backward father support Narendra Modi," he said.

Yadav had arrived here on Tuesday and met BJP president Rajnath Singh and other BJP leaders – Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javdekar – at the VIP lounge of airport, triggering speculation that he would soon join the BJP.
Yadav, who used to be close to RJD chief Lalu Prasad, was at odds with his party after the RJD chief`s daughter Misa was named the candidate from the Patliputra seat.

Yadav was the only RJD member in the Rajya Sabha.

Ram Kripal had resigned from all party posts of the RJD after Lalu Prasad ignored his claim over Pataliputra ticket.
Ram Kripal`s closeness to the BJP was being attributed to LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan, who is said to have played a key role in building bridges between him and the BJP.

Paswan himself junked a long-standing alliance with the RJD in Bihar recently to strike a pre-poll deal with the BJP in Bihar which has 40 Lok Sabha seats.

(With Agency inputs)