Her convent education and MBBS degree have changed the face of the RJD — till the other day a party of Lalu Prasad of rustic charm and homemaker Rabri Devi.
In the past few weeks, Misa Bharti has turned out to be the youth icon — something the party has searched but not got in the past two decades — in the Yadav-dominated Danapur and Khagaul areas.
Misa sounded more suave than what most people expect from a Lalu-Rabri daughter on electioneering. In the hinterlands of Pataliputra constituency, the 39-year-old and mother of a girl is the biggest crowd-puller among the youths and women. Her articulate skills and upbringing in the best-known political family of Bihar have hardly made her look or sound like a debut candidate in front of the thousands of voters she meets everyday.
Last Friday, she spoke at a rally in Danapur and several other vicinities around Bihar Regimental Cantonment area on the western fringes of Patna. Lalu, who has literally put everything on stake for getting his daughter elected from Pataliputra, arrived first in a helicopter at Baldeva High School around 4.30pm. Lalu came to the stage but the “chopper-lovers” continued to glue their eyeballs on the flying machine. Finally, the RJD chief had to say: “Aey, helicopter ke pass se hat jao sab, hato, hato (Move away from the helicopter. Move, move).”
While Lalu addressed the rally in his own style, other party workers kept on waiting for Misa. “Misaji Bikram se nikal chuki hain, aadha- paun ghanta me pahaunch jayengi (Misa has left Bikram and she is likely to arrive here in half an hour or 45 minutes),”one of the workers said.
Lalu finished his speech in around 15 minutes and left the stage to Misa, who was nowhere to be seen though. Suddenly, one Toyota Fortuner with a Delhi registration number (DL 8 CAB 1244) followed by a Maruti Gypsy with a few constables entered the school premises. Clad in a white-and-pink cotton salwar-kurta and a pink duppata with leather sippers, the 5-ft-1-inch Misa steps out and greeted the party workers.
But is she tired after a hard day’s campaign in 31 villages across Bikram and Paliganj? “What fatigue are you talking about? The women, youth, and the smiles and excitement on their faces do not leave any space for being tired,” replied Misa, who has lost over 5kg in the past month.
True seemed her words with hundreds of youths accompanying her cavalcade of eight SUVs. They danced to the tunes of personalised Bhojpuri songs like- “Aail badi Lalu ke dulari, haath me lalten le ke tahara duwari (The darling of Lalu has come at your doorstep with lantern)” and “Jaisan sochle rahni, waisane badi hamar Misa didi (As I had thought, my Misa sister is like that only).”
“Just an hour ago, Ram Kripal Yadav (of the BJP) also held a bike rally but the crowd was not even 10 per cent than that of Misa’s,” said Gajendra Kumar Dautpur Karbla, 22.
Addressing a brief meeting at Murarachak, Misa said: “Ye chunav sirf mera nai hai, balki aapki bahu, aapki beti ka hai. Aapme se bahaut log mere sasur, sewar aur bhasur lagenge, mahilayein meri sas aur nanad lagengi. Isliye apni bahu ki laaj bachane ke liye humko chune aur abhi hath utha kar aashirwad de (This election is not only mine but it is of your daughter-in law and daughter. Please elect me and bless me now by raising your hand).” Mina Devi, an onlooker, said: “Lalu ki beti hai, Lalu ko vote diye the, isko bhi denge (She is Lalu’s daughter. I had voted for Lalu so I would vote for her as well).”
Wrapping up her roadshow around 9pm, Misa told The Telegraph: “By now, you must have seen how things are here. I am confident as people, especially the youth and women are with me.”