RJD chief picks daughter, Jethmalani for Rajya Sabha seats

Patna : Contrary to speculation, RJD chief Lalu Prasad has chosen his elder daughter Misa Bharti and eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani as party candidates for the biennial polls from the state to the Rajya Sabha next month.

“Till Thursday, it was concluded in political circles here that Lalu will nominate his wife and former chief minister Rabri Devi to the Rajya Sabha. But he has favoured his daughter Misa,” a senior party leader said.

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Misa is a doctor and has been trying to enter politics for several years. She was named Misa as she was born during Lalu’s incarceration under the Maintenance of Internal Security (MISA) Act during the Emergency.

“Misa is young and articulate. She is a good orator, unlike her mother.”

According to party leaders here, Lalu took the decision on Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) nominees after the party’s national and state parliamentary boards authorised him last week on the matter.

Lalu’s sons Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejaswi Yadav are already in politics, with elder son Tej Pratap a Bihar cabinet minister and younger son Tejaswi the Deputy Chief Minister.

Lalu had fielded Misa for the Patliputra seat in Patna in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, following which senior party leader and then Rajya Sabha MP Ramkirpal Yadav revolted.

Later Ramkirpal Yadav joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and contested against Misa and defeated her. Yadav is currently a minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.

“Lalu favoured Jethmalani for two reasons: He is a BJP basher after his expulsion from the BJP in 2013; and second, he has been helping the RJD leader in the multi-crore fodder scam cases,” another RJD leader said.

With 80 legislators in the Bihar assembly, two RJD nominees will easily sail through. Out of the total five Rajya Sabha seats, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-United with 71 legislators will get to send two candidates to the upper house of parliament. The opposition BJP with 53 legislators will get to nominate one candidate.

The term of five sitting Rajya Sabha MPs from Bihar will expire in July.