Patna, March 6: RJD chief Lalu Prasad has relied heavily on his old M-Y (Muslim-Yadav) formula in announcing the list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections.
At least eight candidates, including his daughter and wife, are from the Yadav caste. There are six Muslims in his list — considered quite high at 25 per cent given the fact that he has announced the names of 25 candidates.
The high number of Muslims are because he wants to thwart Nitish Kumar’s bid to woo Muslim votes and because more minorities have been voting against him in the past few elections.
Among the upper castes, there are three candidates in the hope that Rajputs who are now perceived to be with the BJP, would be inclined to his party.
The RJD chief has also relied on old warhorses. Former ministers Raghunath Jha, Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav, Kanti Singh, A.A. Fatmi and Mohammed Taslimuddin were given tickets.
The former parliamentarians include Sitaram Yadav, Anwarul Haq, Alok Mehta and Surendra Prasad Yadav. “Laluji did not have the courage to experiment by giving a large number of seats to EBCs and other castes who have been against him,” said an RJD leader.
The three powerful sitting MPs — Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Jagdanand Singh and Prabhunath Singh — have been left untouched.
The most well-known Muslim face of the RJD, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, who was under threat of losing his Madhubani seat to the Congress, has finally managed to retain it.
Lalu has sprung a surprise by getting former Nitish loyalist Bhagwan Singh Kushwaha to contest from Ara seat.
Pragati Mehta, a journalist with a vernacular media, from Munger appears to be the only surprise newcomer.