Lalu missing from poster, ‘yuva’ Tejashwi lords over party
Visitors to the RJD headquarters in Bihar capital feel intrigued by a new election poster put up in front of the premises, gigantic in dimensions but without an image of its larger than life founding president Lalu Prasad.
Prasad’s younger son and heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav, who will be leading the opposition Grand Alliance as its chief ministerial candidate, finds a pride of place on the huge rectangular sheet with a yellow background which promises nayi soch, naya Bihar (a new Bihar with a new vision).
He features in the poster alone.
The poster has Tejashwi Yadav’s photograph, looking resolute with arms across the chest, as a blue-colored map of Bihar forms the background.
The second line of the election slogan coined by the party, ‘yuva sarkar, abki baar’, is shorn of the earthy imaginativeness that was characteristic of Prasad.
It also sounds like a straight lift from the slogan ‘abki baar, Modi sarkaar’ of 2014, which had caught the nation’s attention and helped the BJP achieve unprecedented electoral success.
Old-timers, however, seem not impressed with the idea of dropping from the RJD poster its jailed supremo who is acknowledged, across party lines, as the biggest crowd puller ever seen in Bihar’s political arena.
Lalu floated RJD as a splinter group of the Janata Dal he was heading in 1997. Since then the party has been synonymous with his persona.
“All members of his family, be it his wife Rabri Devi, whose tenure as chief minister was longer than that of her husband, or their sons….they are nothing more than a pale shadow of the party chief who is, ironically, the party’s biggest asset as well as liability,” said an old associate of Prasad, lodged in judicial custody in Ranchi, told PTI.
Wanting not to be named, he pointed out how the once-powerful RJD drew a blank in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls when Prasad was behind bars in Jharkhand capital after his conviction in fodder scam cases.
NDA leaders also scoffed at the “belated” attempt by the RJD at an “image makeover” by leaving Prasad out of the poster.
They also said if Prasad came out of jail, it will benefit the NDA more than the RJD.