RJD set to field Rabri from Lalu's Chhapra seat for Lok Sabha polls
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Buoyed by RJD chief Lalu Prasad's return from jail and "assurances" of a pre-poll alliance with Congress, the RJD is most likely to field former CM Rabri Devi from Lalu's traditional Saran (Chhapra) Lok Sabha seat in the coming elections. Lalu, who is barred from contesting polls for 11 years after his fodder scam conviction, is set to use it as a "blessing in disguise".
RJD president Lalu Prasad, who said the party would take up possible Rabri Devi candidature from Saran, at an opportune time, is understood to have narrowed down to his wife's name. With politically suave younger son Tejashwi just turning 24 and elder son Tej not much given to politics, the RJD is not left with much choice to guard the family bastion. Lalu, who first won from Chhapra in 1977, has not lost any election from this seat barring two that he did not contest. The sailing is expected to get tougher this time with the possibility of a fierce triangular contest between RJD, BJP and JD(U). Senior BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who lost to Lalu by over 50,000 votes in last elections, may well throw his hat in ring once again this time.
RJD sources said the party had been keen on fielding strong candidates from Lalu's family from Saran and Pataliputra seats. Lalu had lost to his once close friend and JD(U) candidate Ranjan Yadav from Pataliputra seat. Both Lok Sabha seats have sizeable Yadav population.
Though Lalu vowed not to "enter even Central Hall till acquitted", he has been keen on getting Rabri Devi to Parliament from Saran. Rabri Devi, currently a member of Bihar Legislative Council, had been attending a series of public meetings to keep the party's chances afloat. Prasad appreciated her "hard work" in his own way when he told his wife after his return from jail: "You have lost weight".