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Lalu, Bihar's favourite punching bag this election

Last updated on: October 7, 2010 08:02 IST

Lalu, Bihar's favourite punching bag this election

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Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad is the favourite punching bag in the campaigning for Bihar assembly elections.

The man who changed the rules of the game in the state for 15 long years but failed in the last assembly elections is at the centre of attacks and counterattacks.

In the run-up to the polls, his detractors are reminding people against the return of the 'jungle raj'.

After his party's debacle in the Lok Sabha polls last year, Prasad, who is fighting with his back to the wall to regain power in Bihar, is the target alike of his detractors as also of those who were his admirers till the other day.

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Image: Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav
Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters
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The ruling Janata Dal-United-BJP combine as also Congress, which was playing the second fiddle to Prasad for several years in Bihar, are leaving no stone unturned to corner him politically.

Congress is going all out to make inroads into Prasad's Muslim-Yadav (MY) votebank by giving a large number of tickets to Muslims and has also brought in Mehboob Ali Kaiser, a leader from the minority community, as the new PCC Chief.

Congress leaders say that some 50 Muslim candidates could be put up by the party which is contesting all the 243 seats in the state after a long time.

One of Prasad's brother-in-laws, the controversial Sadhu Yadav, is already in Congress while another, Subhash Yadav, who was recently denied RJD renomination to the Rajya Sabha, is out of the party and is also knocking at the doors of 10 Janpath.


Image: Lalu Prasad Yadav waves to his supporters
Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters
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Lalu, Bihar's favourite punching bag this election

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They are now saying that Prasad has become "arrogant".

Playing the development card, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, a friend-turned-foe of Prasad, is in his caustic best while attacking Prasad. Kumar is sarcastically dubbing him as Mr Turnaround over his claims that he had worked a miracle on the Railways.

"People of the state are not going to vote for Lalu Prasad and his party even by mistake," Kumar claims alleging that after unleashing a "reign of terror" for 15 years in Bihar, the RJD chief is now talking of setting things right in the state.


Image: Lalu Prasad Yadav speaks during a meeting with his party workers
Photographs: Krishna Murari Kishan/Reuters
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In fact, the chief minister has made an issue of Prasad occupying a front seat in the Lok Sabha though his party had only four MPs, to allege that he has a poll pact with the Congress.

Lalu is hitting back alleging secret links between Congress and the JD-U.

His statements show that he no longer treats Congress as a non-entity and 'vote-katwa' (spoiler of other parties' chances) in Bihar.


Image: Lalu (L) addresses the media as senior communist leader Sitaram Yechury looks on
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
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