|Lalu Prasad (top) and his impersonator Virendra Sharma
Lalu is in jail but the man who can “talk Lalu and walk Lalu” has gone missing.
At a time when the RJD desperately needs a crowdpuller like Lalu Prasad, cooling his heels in a Ranchi jail, even his impersonator, has gone missing.
Virendra Sharma, alias Junior Lalu, who has the former chief minister’s voice, is missing from Bihar politics ever since the party faced a humiliating defeat in the 2010 Assembly elections.
“In the run-up to the Assembly elections, he was busy rehearsing speeches in Lalu’s inimitable style. Leaders from different districts asked him to campaign on behalf of Laluji whenever the former chief minister was unavailable. He had tremendous crowd-pulling capacity,” said Anil Kumar, who makes kurtas for politicians.
But the RJD suffered a massive defeat in the elections and the imitator was forgotten in no time. “People deserted him and even rebuked him. I saw him loitering aimlessly near the MLA flats at Beer Chand Patel Marg a few days back,” said Anil.
Sharma, according to a section of the RJD, was quite a star. “Laluji knew him very well. The party, too, took good care of him. He was given a place to stay in along with his family. But after the party’s dismal performance in the last election, he was neglected. Laluji used to be in Delhi most of the time. The party leaders here didn’t take much notice of him,” said RJD worker Sujata Devi.
She added that the middle-aged mimic had remarkable talent when it came to public speaking. “We had seen a sea of people moving towards a scaffolding thinking it was Laluji who was delivering the speech. It is sad that parties often forget the people who work for them,” she said.
His absence is felt badly by a section of the RJD now. “Laluji is known for his accent and speeches. Sharma can fill that space,” a party worker said.