Misa Bharti, the RJD candidate for the Pataliputra constituency, in Danapur. Picture by Deepak Kumar
Electioneering is at its peak with four days left for polling in Patna. Lalu Prasadís daughter and the RJD candidate from Pataliputra, Misa Bharti, talks to Piyush Kumar Tripathi of The Telegraph about rivals, allegation of nepotism in the RJD and her plans for the constituency
Why are you contesting from a constituency from where your father Lalu Prasad lost in the last Lok Sabha elections (2009)?
It was not my personal decision. The party had decided that I should contest from Pataliputra. As Laluji had contested from here last time, party members wanted someone from the family to stand from here this time as well. I am just following the verdict of my party.
At times, allegations of nepotism are being made against the RJD. What is your take on this?
All such allegations are baseless. There is no nepotism at all in the RJD. I am already married and now a member of another family. My mother (Rabri Devi) was chosen by the people of the state for two
consecutive terms. I am contesting the polls to fight the conspiracy against my father to stop him from serving the people. In democracy, nepotism is irrelevant as I am fulfilling the people’s desires. If being Lalu’s daughter means giving an initial advantage, I don’t think there is anything wrong in it.
Who do you consider to be your main rival in the Pataliputra constituency?
Though all 19 candidates from this constituency are my rivals, I believe I am the strongest contender. The JD(U) candidate (Ranjan Prasad Yadav) has been put down by the electors as he hardly came to the constituency after being elected. The response to BJP candidate (Ram Kripal Yadav) is also nowhere compared to what I am receiving during electioneering.
Ram Kripal Yadav was closely associated with your family like a lieutenant of your father. How do you see his separation from the RJD?
I believe only Ram Kripal ji can talk about his grievances with the RJD, as the party never neglected him. He always held a post in the party and he is still a member of the Rajya Sabha, which he got as an RJD member and he has still not resigned from there.
What are the main issues in Pataliputra constituency?
There has been no development in this constituency. My thrust would be primarily on health services, education, youth and development of basic infrastructure, including roads and availability of drinking water.
Despite having an MBBS degree, you have mentioned your profession as business rather than doctor in your nomination paper. Why?
Holding an MBBS degree is my qualification but I am also associated with a few business ventures of my husband, even as a joint director in a few firms.
Many MPs face the allegation of not visiting the constituency quite often after they are elected. How different would you be?
I don’t know about
other MPs and how often
they visit their constituencies. If I was not to come back
here why would I be here today? I am the bahu (daughter-in-law), sister and a
member of all the families in this constituency. I would always be here.
How effective would you be in the Parliament?
Very effective. I am working on real issues. I would primarily raise three issues in the Parliament — right to health, and educational and bureaucratic reforms.
A young, educated and professional woman, who brings a fresh hope to build a new Bihar. The political legacy of my family is an icing on the cake.