Lalu’s politics and his future
How the crafty moves of the doyen of Indian politics were check-mated by a cleverer dispensation.
Political analysts know that Lalu Prasad Yadav is a politician who has a strong grip on people from lower strata and minority community in Bihar. He made his political fortune by belonging to grassroots level from where he had arisen from and reached the thrones of chief minister and Union minister and ruled the state for a long 15 years from 1990 to 2005. Lalu is recognised to be a special politician for special masses, who vote for his party RJD in every election. Lalu Prasad’s RJD always get more than 20% consolidated votes in the elections even the party loses.
Lalu’s vote bank has a direct link with Yadavs, the largest caste with at least 12 per cent population in the state; and the largest minority community, Muslims, with 16 per cent population in Bihar. It is the combination of these two vote banks that make Lalu invincible, when elections are fought by any party alone, be it JDU or BJP.
Since 1990, in the pro and against environment of Mandal Commission recommendations for OBC reservations, Lalu along with other regional stalwarts in politics like Mulayam Singh Yadav emerged as the champions of a new politics based on the lines of caste and appeasement of Muslims to get a solid and undivided support in the Gangetic plains, especially UP and Bihar. It was this caste based politics with minority appeasement that made the long time ruling Congress a second rung party in these states which send maximum number of MPs to the Parliament.
In Bihar, Lalu Prasad is still recognised as a voice of downtrodden people who otherwise have to migrate to other states every year for the sake of employment. It is a reality that the same public hasn’t been led by him on the financial or socioeconomic front of development. In the present era of urbanisation, digitisation and globalization, concern for Lalu’s type of politics arises is that the present generations of youths and migrant workers don’t buy Lalu’s politics based on traditional caste and community lines. They rather want to get developed and live a