Already pushed to the political margins after the debacle in the last Lok Sabha and Bihar Assembly polls, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s run of bad luck would have certainly taken a breather with his inclusion in the Union Cabinet .
He even lobbied hard within the power centres of the ruling establishment in New Delhi, but much to his misfortune, a ministerial position again eluded him.
These are certainly not easy times for the erstwhile chief minister of Bihar when he is made to look like a bystander who does not have the political teeth to extract his pound of flesh. Ditto with the LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan , who may also be sulking because he too was ignored for the Cabinet expansion.
No wonder, the party workers of both the RJD and the LJP are a disillusioned lot and may now be more inclined to up their ante against the the UPA government at the Centre. A senior RJD functionary, Ram Kripal Yadav, however, brushed aside the reports.
“Laluji did not stake any claim to the ministerial demand. Yes, he did recently meet Sonia Gandhi , but nothing related to Cabinet reshuffle was discussed in the meeting. It was just a courtesy call,” the Rajya Sabha member said. Three days ahead of the Cabinet expansion, the former railway minister had called on Sonia Gandhi, triggering strong speculations about his possible induction into the Manmohan Singh’s Cabinet.
Sources say Lalu Yadav – in the run-up to the Cabinet expansion – remained in constant touch with senior Congress leaders in his bid to bag a ministerial berth. He also did not spare any effort from his own level and even publicly took on Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev, possibly to keep the Congress benches in good humour.
Given the fact that Bihar was going unrepresented in the Cabinet had added credence to the speculations for the possible induction of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Paswan or even someone from the Congress.
“It is ironic that Bihar has no place in the Union council of ministers,” senior RJD legislator and leader of the opposition in the state Abdul Bari Siddqui told ET. Economic Times