Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leaders on Saturday authorised their imprisoned party chief Lalu Prasad to select candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha (LS) elections and the State Assembly by-elections thereafter. Prasad has also been authorised to stitch an alliance with like-minded parties for the upcoming LS polls.
No holi celebrations
“The party’s Central Parliamentary Board has unanimously authorised Lalu Prasad to select the candidates for Lok Sabha elections and State Assembly by-polls thereafter…besides, the party chief has also been authorized to hold parleys with like-minded parties to find out the possibilities and give a final shape to the alliance for Lok Sabha polls,” RJD Rajya Sabha member and national spokesperson Manoj Jha told media persons after the Board meeting here at 10, Circular Road, the official residence of former Chief Minister Rabri Devi.
The party passed a resolution to stay away from Holi celebrations this year to show solidarity with the families of those killed in the Pulwama terror attack last month, said Mr. Jha.
From the hospital bed
Prasad is currently serving prison sentences in Ranchi after being convicted in fodder scam cases and taking medical treatment at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS). RJD and its alliance leaders visit him regularly to discuss political and electoral prospects. Rebel JD(U) leader and founder of Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) Sharad Yadav met Prasad in the Ranchi hospital on Saturday. “We discussed the upcoming Lok Sabha poll and how to counter the BJP-led NDA in the country,” he told local journalists.
Meanwhile, asked about seat sharing among magathbandhan (Grand Alliance) constituents, Mr. Jha said, “all is well and everything is on the right track”. Party sources, however, told The Hindu that seat-sharing will be done “within a week’s time”. The apparent roadblock to this is the demand for not less than14 seats by the Congress, while the RJD is said to have offered them 11 out of the total 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar.
Another constituent Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi too has demanded more seats than the Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP and other smaller partners like Mukesh Sahni-led Vikassheel Insaan Party and Sharad Yadav-led LJD. The Left parties too have communicated to the RJD leadership that they need certain seats in Bihar to contest the upcoming LS poll to defeat the BJP-led NDA.
“We have to honour all our constituents in seat sharing. So there is a little delay but it will be done soon by our party chief Lalu Prasad,” said a senior RJD leader.