Ram Kripal Yadav joins BJP
NEW DELHI : Bihar politician Ram Kripal Yadav today joined the BJP, days after breaking up with his party chief Lalu Prasad. Ram Kripal, a member of the Rajya Sabha, has been part of Lalu’s Rashtriya Janata Dal or RJD for over three decades. As he crossed over to the BJP today, he praised Narendra Modi as “the man India is looking up to.”
The 56-year-old left the RJD after Lalu declared that his daughter, Misa Bharti, will contest the national election from Pataliputra, a constituency Ram Kripal hoped to fight for. In protest last week, Ram Kripal quit all his party posts. “I was saddened by what was happening to ordinary workers like us. It seemed as if family was getting precedence over social justice,” said Mr Yadav, flanked by BJP Chief Rajnath Singh and other top party leaders.
On Tuesday, Lalu’s wife, Rabri Devi had said Ram Kripal’s exit would not affect the RJD. Lalu’s daughter Misa, who refers to Ram Kripal as ‘chacha” or father’s younger brother, said, “It’s not a fight between an uncle and niece. It’s a fight between ideologies.” When a fortnight ago 13 of Lalu’s state legislators appeared ready to join Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United (JDU), it was Ram Kirpal who staved off a split, talking nine leaders into dropping their rebellion.
If he contests as the BJP candidate from Pataliputra, he will serve as a formidable opponent for Misa Bharti. On Friday, Misa, who is 37, and has never contested an election, visited Ram Kripal’s home in Delhi in an attempt to placate him, but he left his house without meeting her.
Lalu was disqualified as a member of Parliament last year after he was convicted in a corruption case. Though he has appealed against that verdict in a higher court, he cannot contest elections for at least six years.