Rabri may be RJD chief if Lalu jailed

The RJD is likely to install party chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s wife Rabri Devi as his temporary replacement in case he has to go to jail for the fodder scam case against him in which the date for verdict is due shortly.
While most RJD leaders close to Mr Yadav expected till last week that his alter ago and sitting MP Raghuvansh Prasad Singh would be the party’s acting national chief in case Mr Yadav has to go to jail, fears of a possible alternative power centre emerging within the RJD has reportedly caused a change of mind. Party sources said Mr Yadav himself had formally suggested Mr Singh’s name at a recent meeting after the Supreme Court rejected his request to transfer the judge in the fodder scam trial court in Ranchi and ordered an early judgement. If Singh, 67, a former Union rural development minister in UPA-I government, were made the RJD chief, it would have been the first time in the party in 20 years for the top post to go outside the Yadav family. Mr Yadav himself has continuously remained the RJD president all along and firmly kept control over the party with himself and his family. In January, he was elected the RJD’s national president for the eighth consecutive term. But the impending court verdict in a case in the `950-crore fodder scam, likely by September 30, could halt his dream run if he is convicted.
While many in the RJD were of the opinion that the erudite Singh, a leader from Bihar’s upper-caste Rajputs that Yadav has been trying hard to win over, would provide the party new stimulus, Yadav’s close aides and the powerful backward caste lobby within the RJD has opposed the move.

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