Lalu Prasad to approve RJD poll candidates; alliance partners


India, Politics

Prasad is presently serving prison sentences in Ranchi after being convicted in a number of fodder scam cases.

Lalu Prasad Yadav

Patna: RJD chief Lalu Prasad will have the final say on the selection of candidates and choice of alliance partners for the Lok Sabha elections and Assembly bypolls, his party said Saturday.

The decision was made at the RJD's central parliamentary board meeting which was preceded by another meeting of state units of Bihar and Jharkhand at former chief minister Rabri Devi's 10, Circular Road residence here. The party's central parliamentary board has unanimously authorised Lalu Prasad to select the candidates for Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly bypolls, RJD's national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Manoj Jha told reporters. "Besides, the party chief has also been authorised to hold parleys with like-minded parties to find out the possibilities and give a final shape to the alliance for Lok Sabha polls," the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader said. Prasad is presently serving prison sentences in Ranchi after being convicted in a number of fodder scam cases. RJD leaders meet Lalu in jail every Saturday where he is apprised of the latest developments, party sources said. Jha, accompanied by the party's national secretary general and MLC Qamar Alam, said that several RJD state units of Bihar and Jharkhand have passed resolutions and conveyed to the central parliamentary board to authorise Prasad to take the final call in selecting candidates and alliance partners. Jha, however, declined to comment on the issue of seat sharing among the opposition alliance in Bihar which comprises RJD, Congress, Upendra Kushwaha's RLSP, former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi's HAM(S) and Mukesh Sahni's VIP. "All is well and everything is on right track in regard to talks on alliance," Jha said. It may be noted that the Left parties have already communicated to the RJD leadership that they wish to be part of the opposition alliance in Bihar to ensure Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) defeat in the 2019 general elections. This has put the RJD in a tight spot which may find it difficult to accommodate each and every one in the alliance with individual wish-list and claim for seats. Jha also said that the RJD has decided to stay away from Holi celebrations this year in order to show its solidarity with the people of the country and families of those who got killed in Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir last month.