| Former RJD MP Anil Kumar joins the JD(U) in the presence of chief minister Nitish Kumar in Patna on Wednesday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Patna, Jan. 15: Former RJD MP Anil Kumar alias Sheru today joined the JD(U), giving a strong indication that he would contest from Gopalganj.
Nitish has, in a way, avenged the flight of his party’s sitting MP from Gopalganj, Purnamasi Ram, to Lalu Prasad’s RJD. Anil, son of the first generation Dalit leader and former member of constituent Assembly, Chandrika Ram, is believed to enjoy a “clean” image.
A native of Bhore in north Bihar’s Gopalganj Lok Sabha constituency, Anil, who started his career as a Congress MLA from Bhore in the 1980s, also represented the Bhore Assembly seat thrice.
After winning the Gopalganj (SC) seat in 2009 on the JD(U) ticket, Purnamasi turned critical to Nitish.
Recently, he repeatedly questioned the chief minister’s style of functioning, breaking into paeans for the RJD chief. Lalu was understood to have had scored a strong point over Nitish by getting his (Nitish’s) party MP work for the RJD ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Now, Nitish is believed to have avenged “loss” of the MP by getting Lalu’s “Mr Clean” in the JD(U).
Anil had switched over to the RJD from Congress in early 1990s becoming a Rajya Sabha MP on the Janata Dal and later RJD’s ticket for the two consecutive terms. He was elected as an MLA in 2005 on the RJD’s ticket but lost the Lok Sabha polls as the RJD nominee to the JD(U)’s Purnamasi in 2009.
The JD(U) might have got a credible candidate on the Gopalganj seat in Anil but it may not be easy for any party to romp home from here comfortably.
The seat is all set to witness a classic triangular contest with the BJP getting the BSP strongman, Janak Chamar, to contest on it.
Lalu, whose brother-in-law Sadhu Yadav had won it in 2004 on the RJD ticket, will in all likelihood push hard to regain his home bastion.
It is not yet clear if Lalu will field the JD(U) renegade Purnamasi on the seat or pick up someone else to take on the two “formidable” candidates — Anil and Janak.