New Delhi, Dec 15 (): Lalu Prasad getting bail and his imminent release from jail is bad news, which might spoil the dreams of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar of his Lok Sabha numbers and also the BJP and SP.
After the JD (U) and the BJP parting ways after a 17-year alliance as NDA partners in June this year, both had vowed to break the RJD. Nitish and BJP were looking to fill the gap caused by Lalu’s arrest and his vote banks shifting to JD(U) and BJP. RJD after Lalu’s arrest showed no signs of breaking down.
BJP and JD(U) did not give adverse comments on Lalu after his court conviction, as they did not want to anger Yadav community that accounts for 15% of the Bihar electorate. The majority of Muslim votes accounting for 13% of voters was with Lalu. If he had not been released, this would have gone to JD (U). Narendra Modi at his Patna rally hinted on special space in Gujarat for Yadavs.
Lalu coming out from jail, now adds to the worries. Surveys show that the JD(U) split with BJP will not help the latter. To balance this, Muslim votes are crucial.
JD(U) wins and being a part of a platform to keep BJP out in Central government is making Muslims think twice. JD(U) alliance with Congress is stuck in the special status for Bihar issue. The semi final results will also make JD (U) think twice about aligning with Congress.
The RJD thus looks surer to clinch the poll alliance with Congress. The drifting away in 2005, made JD(U) come to power. JD(U) is part of third front which claims to be the next alliance that will come to power but the undecided Muslim voters are not convinced. A Lalu-led RJD-Congress-LJP combine would romp home comfortably.
The Muslim-Yadav vote bank makes up for 28%. Lalu minus the Congress got a 19 % share of the votes while JD (U) got 22%. Lalu Prasad has always had the knack to spring surprises.