| Lalu Prasad embarks on the third leg of his yatra in Patna on Saturday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Patna, Aug. 4: Undeterred by the ruling NDA’s attempt to “deprive” the RJD-led Opposition of the deputy speaker’s post in the Assembly, Lalu Prasad is busy carrying out a yatra in Bihar’s hinterland to resurrect his old magic.
The embattled RJD chief got some solace from the fact that the party’s estranged MP and senior leader, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, has buried his hatched with the “boss” and has been accompanying him (Lalu) in the yatra.
Raghuvansh, who accompanied Lalu during his second leg of yatra from Samastipur to Sitamarhi in north Bihar today, sat by his leader’s side when the RJD chief’s car sped off for the third leg of his yatra from Lakhisarai to Nawada in south Bihar.
Lalu also appeared unfazed by Team Anna’s decision to join politics. “I do not take notice of what Anna Hazare is doing. I am spending time with the people suffering from bad law and order situation and poor health facilities,” the RJD chief said while leaving his 10-Circular Road house.
Lalu, while setting out for the third leg of his yatra, did not react on the ruling NDA’s move to field its candidate on the Assembly deputy speaker’s post against the 35-year-old convention of sparing the position for the Opposition. A Lalu aide remarked, “The NDA is in brute majority and as such it is breaking the democratic convention. Laluji is trying to awaken the masses against the NDA’s excesses.”
Though Lalu has managed to strike a unity in his party with the senior leaders now supporting in his campaign against the Nitish Kumar-led NDA, it is hard to predict at this stage how much of the lost political grounds he might recover with his efforts.
A handful of party cadres sent him off though the senior leaders, including Ramchandra Purbey, Ramkripal Yadav and Jaiprakash Yadav, besides Raghuvansh, accompanied him.
“We are happy that Laluji is now doing what he has been good at. He has been the leader of the masses although. And his sojourn in the hinterland will not remain un-responded. The people, getting frustrated with the deteriorating law and order, atrocities on Dalits and the government’s failure on health and educational fronts will eventually listen to Lalu,” party general secretary Vijay Krishna said. He added: “The RJD is still the only alternative in the state.”