Lalu Yadav returns to Patna after three years, may campaign for RJD in bypolls

Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo and Bihar’s tall politician Lalu Prasad Yadav on Sunday reached Patna after over three-and-half years. Lalu was accompanied by his wife Rabri Devi, elder daughter Misa Bharti and other family members.

The former Bihar chief minister is likely to campaign for the party candidates in the by-elections scheduled for October 30 at Tarapur in Munger and Kusheshwarsthan in Darbhanga districts.

PTI also reported that Lalu has made it clear that he intends to take part in the campaign for by-polls.

He was asked by reporters, in Delhi earlier in the day, as to whether he “would not be violating conditions laid down by the court while granting him bail on health reasons, if he campaigns.”

“It is nonsense. Who said I have been granted bail on health reasons? I got entitled to bail because I have spent half of my sentence behind bars. Nothing can now prevent me from campaigning,” Lalu responded.

Both Tej Pratap and Tejashwi Yadav, sons of Lalu, were present at the Patna airport to receive him and the RJD chief was accorded a warm welcome by party leaders and workers at the airport.

Lalu was last seen here in September 2018, after which he returned to Ranchi to serve his sentences upon expiry of the period of his bail, granted to attend elder son Tej Pratap’s wedding, and extended a number of times to help him avail medical treatment, according to PTI news agency.

Convicted in several fodder scam cases, the country’s tall socialist leader, affected by multiple diseases, was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in national capital Delhi. After getting bail he was recuperating at the residence of his elder daughter Misa Bharti since April 30 this year.

Earlier in Delhi, while speaking to reporters, Lalu slammed Bihar in-charge of the Congress, Bhakt Charan Das. “Bhakt Charan Das is bhakchonahar [stupid and fool]”, said Lalu when asked for his reaction over the Congress leader saying that the RJD would join forces (obliquely referring to the BJP) against whom mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) had fought earlier.

In the past few days, the Congress in Bihar and the RJD have sparred with each other about the reservation of two seats that both parties would contest in the upcoming by-polls.

RJD and Congress had fought the 2020 Bihar assembly elections as part of an alliance, and as part of the seat-sharing agreement, the Congress had contested from Kusheshwar Asthan — a seat it lost by 7,200 votes. However, this time around, the RJD has refused to allow the Congress to contest either by-polls.

On Sunday, Lalu told reporters, “Why should we give the seat to Congress? So that they would lose? So they would lose their deposit?.”