| Bhola Prasad Yadav |
Patna, Aug. 29: Impulse seemed to have gripped Lalu Prasad while on his way to Mumbai for a heart surgery.
As the RJD chief was leaving for Mumbai on August 22 to undergo a heart surgery, his Man Friday since 1996 Bhola Prasad Yadav reminded him that the name of the party’s candidate for the by-polls to the legislative council had to put in the paper-allotting symbol for the official candidate.
“Iss baar apna naam de dena (this time, put your own name on the paper),” the RJD chief had told Bhola before boarding the plane.
This is how Lalu’s former private secretary is set to make it to the Upper House with the support of JDU and Congress MLAs. The seat fell vacant when RJD MLC Ghulam Gaus resigned from the House to contest on a JDU ticket from the Madhubani parliamentary seat, which he lost.
Ever since the alliance between the RJD and the JDU was worked out, several RJD leaders had been eyeing the seat. There were speculations that the RJD may name Misa Bharti, Lalu’s daughter, who had lost to Ram Kripal Yadav from Pataliputra parliamentary seat. But naming Bhola Prasad Yadav as the candidate surprised RJD leaders.
“It is the greatness of the RJD chief that he considered me fit to be an MLC. I know many leaders wanted this seat,” the 52-year-old Bhola said.
Since 1996, Bhola has been the private secretary to both Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi, “officially and unofficially”.
Whenever either of the two held a post in the government, Bhola has been the official private secretary. Else he goes “unofficial”.
From 2010, when neither Lalu nor Rabri held any post, he was made the general secretary of the state RJD. What makes Bhola invaluable to Lalu is the fact that he has been handling tour programmes of Lalu and Rabri during elections and also managed allotment of symbols for candidates for more than a decade.
“Anything that concerns documents, Bhola is there and he is also there when the family is in crisis (like Lalu going to jail). He enjoys the confidence of the family and he has remained loyal when others have deserted Lalu,” said an RJD leader.
However, the ticket given to Bhola is not without discontent among a section of leaders in the party.
“The nomination should have been given to a political activist. Bhola is not a political activist,” said a senior RJD leader, recalling that in the Lok Sabha polls, Lalu gave a ticket to another private secretary Vinod Srivastava from Motihari and it proved a fiasco.