Patna: It was "aayaram gayaram" politics in Bihar on Monday when the ruling JD(U) as well as the opposition RJD claimed to have scored brownie points with the induction of turncoats into their respective folds. Rashtriya Janata Dal dealt a body blow to its renegade alliance partner Rashtriya Lok Samata Party when the latters state unit chief Bhudeo Chaudhary joined Lalu Prasad's party.
Prasads younger son and heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav inducted Chaudhary minutes after RLSP founding chief Upendra Kushwaha returned from the national capital where he is believed to have held parleys with top leaders of the BJP to facilitate his return to the NDA. Of late, Kushwaha had begun to strike notes of dissent and demanding a change in leadership of the Grand Alliance, holding that Yadav, a former Deputy Chief Minister who is 31 years of age, was no match to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, a veteran who heads the JD(U) and is aiming at his fourth consecutive term in office.
Earlier, the RJD also inducted Lovely Anand, a former MP herself who is better known as the wife of Anand Mohan, a dreaded muscleman of the 1990s who is serving life sentence for the murder of an IAS officer. Anand reached Tejashwi Yadavs residence along with her son Chetan Anand, dropping ample hints that the son was being groomed to take over the political mantle from their parents.
"We have reposed trust in the RJD because it is led by Tejashwi Yadav who represents the younger generation. Also, I will continue to fight for justice for my father who has been wrongly framed. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been paying lip service, expressing sympathy for Anand Mohan but doing little to facilitate his release", Anand said.
Anand Mohan has been accused of instigating a mob, in Muzaffarpur district, in the early 1990s which lynched G Krishnaiah, who was then the District Magistrate of Gopalganj. A self-styled Robinhood of Mithilanchal region, Anand Mohan had come to Muzaffarpur to attend the funeral of Chhotan Shukla, another dreaded gangster with political clout, whose broad daylight murder had triggered angry outbursts from his community.
On the other hand, the JD(U) welcomed into its fold Mohd Firoz Hussain, a 40 years old aspiring politician who made his electoral debut as an RJD candidate from Dehri assembly segment last year but lost to the BJP rival. Hussains father Ilyas Hussain is a veteran RJD leader who had served as a minister when Lalu Prasads party ruled the state.
His conviction in the bitumen scam, in 2018, had led to his disqualification and necessitated the by-poll in the assembly segment which he had represented multiple times. Upon joining the JD(U), Hussain sung paeans to party president Nitish Kumar and his "transformative development of the state ever since assuming power in 2005".
Meanwhile, "spoilers" continued to be at work in the state where the contest is essentially between the NDA and the Grand Alliance comprising RJD, Congress and, possibly, the Left. Pappu Yadav, another muscleman politician who has floated his own Jan Adhikar Party, announced the formation of an alternative front along with Chandrashekhar Azad Ravans Bhim Army.
The development came less than a fortnight after AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi had announced formation of a United Democratic Secular Alliance in collaboration with Devendra Yadav, a veteran socialist leader from north Bihar who is now running a fledgling outfit Janata Dal (Democratic). Known as "vote katua" in local parlance, the spoilers have been known to queer the pitch for lead players in a tight contest.—PTI