Patna, March 12: Years of dedication, sweat, tears and friendship collapsed at the altar of politics today with Lalu Prasad describing his former Hanuman Ram Kripal Yadav as Bhasmasura — the mythical demon — for joining the BJP.
The RJD had so far refrained from using harsh words against Ram Kripal, one of his closest confidants who stood by him like a rock for over 25 years until Lalu announced daughter Misa Bharti’s candidature from the Pataliputra Lok Sabha seat.
Ram Kripal has thrice been elected from the constituency prior to delimitation — then the Patna Lok Sabha seat — and had nurtured it for years.
The veil of tolerance was shattered this morning after Ram Kripal joined the BJP — which he had earlier dubbed “Bharat Jalao Party” — in New Delhi after touching the feet of party president Rajnath Singh.
A fuming Lalu likened Ram Kripal to Bhasmasura, the mythical demon who got the blessings of Lord Shiva that any person he would touch would burn down. However, the demon ran after Lord Shiva with the intent to burn him down but ended up burning himself after being tricked by Vishnu who appeared as Mohini.
“I created him (Ram Kripal), but he has proved to be Bhasmasura. Lord Shiva was happy and granted a boon to Bhasmasura. But he became a cause of concern for all and nature ensured that he burned. God is removing all such elements from my party,” Lalu said in Patna.
“Overnight Narendra Modi became his (Ram Kripal’s) brother and he touched the feet of Rajnath Singh. Within one day, he burnt his principles. He is an opportunist and the people now know it,” Lalu said.
Misa, who had tried in vain to appease “chacha” Ram Kripal, said there would be no impact on the elections in Pataliputra. “The party is bigger than an individual,” she remarked. Ram Kripal is widely tipped to contest from the seat.
The BJP rolled out the red carpet for their new entrant. Most of the party brass was present at the function in New Delhi to welcome Ram Kripal, whom Rajnath described as a “towering political leader of Bihar”.
Ram Kripal in turn lauded Narendra Modi, whom he has earlier publicly berated, and declared that the country needed a Prime Minister like him.
BJP leader C.P. Thakur, whom Ram Kripal has defeated in elections for the erstwhile Patna seat, was addressed as being like his father, “pita tulya”.
If Lalu spewed vitriol today, Ram Kripal was equal to the task. “The RJD has disbanded social justice. The family has taken over the party and everyone in the party is feeling stifled,” he said, while adding that being in the BJP won’t affect his “secular ideology”.
Bihar BJP leaders are ecstatic over the prized catch. “The deal was sealed only after he was assured that he would be given a ticket from Pataliputra. This is our biggest achievement since the induction of the LJP as an ally. We have now a face recognised and appreciated by the Yadav caste,” said a Bihar BJP leader.
RJD leaders admit they are in for difficult times without Ram Kripal. “What party is Misa talking about? A large number of RJD workers in Patna will cross over with Ram Kripal because they are more familiar with the MP than with Lalu Prasad. Ram Kripal is going to have more grassroots workers than we have,” said an RJD leader.
RJD leaders point out that Ram Kripal had created a network of party supporters which he used when Lalu Prasad went out of Patna to address public meetings. “The impact on the RJD would be statewide,” the RJD leader predicted.