Patna: Rabri Devi has done it before. So when Lalu Prasad was sent to jail in a fodder scam case yesterday, his wife said she and her son would run his party the Rashtriya Janata Dal much like “Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.”
“As Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are guiding Congress, which their ancestors had created so too we will provide strength to the RJD to keep it strong,” pledged the 54-year-old Rabri Devi, a former Chief Minister of Bihar, after the CBI court at Ranchi delivered its verdict. (Lalu Prasad found guilty of corruption, jailed)
Mr Prasad, 66, faces a jail term of at least four years after being convicted on corruption charges and will be disqualified from the Lok Sabha. More significantly for his party, he will not be able to contest next year’s national election, and even the one after that.
RJD leaders indicated that Rabri was the natural choice to lead the party in his absence. “Rabri Devi is our leader. She is still there to guide us,” party secretary General Ramkripal Yadav said.
54-year-old Rabri Devi has two sons — Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejasvi Yadav. Tejasvi, 24, is seen as Lalu’s political heir; he accompanied his father to the Ranchi court yesterday. “We will fight the fodder scam verdict electorally,” he said, indicating that he was ready to step in.
Many however say it is too early for any of the younger Yadavs to take on a bigger role, though Lalu had presented his sons as the future face of the party at a mega rally in May this year, which was billed as his comeback show of strength.
While Tej Pratap runs an automobile business in Aurangabad, Tejasvi is a former cricketer who was once also part of the Delhi Daredevils IPL team.
Rabri Devi was a reluctant entrant into politics in 1997 when she became the chief minister of the state, chosen by Mr Prasad to replace him when he had to resign after he was charged in fodder scam. She served as chief minister again from 1999 for about a year and then again from 2000-2005.(NDTV)