Misa Bharti, the daughter of Lalu Prasad, who heads the Rashtriya Janata Dal or RJD, is contesting her first election in an awkward face-off with two men she has referred to as “uncle” or “chacha.”
Ram Kripal Yadav, 56, wanted to run for parliament from Pataliputra, a constituency within the capital of Patna. When Misa was picked as the RJD’s candidate instead, Ram Kripal moved to the BJP, ending a close relationship with her father that had spanned two decades.
Running opposite Misa and Ram Kripal is Ranjan Yadav of the ruling Janata Dal (United) who won the last election in 2009 and was at one time a minister in the government headed by Lalu Prasad in Bihar.
On the campaign trail, Misa has flaunted her family – Lalu addressed a rally for her recently. Ram Kripal, through his lengthy stint with the RJD, can leverage Muslim support, otherwise tough to draw for the BJP. And Ranjan Yadav feels his effort in getting better roads for the constituency will not go unrewarded by voters.
Roughly a third of the voters in Pataliputra are made up of Muslims and Yadavs. All three candidates are Yadavs. Upper caste voters who add up to 20 per cent usually back the BJP.
Local BJP leaders say the added benefit of the momentum being generated by prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi could help Ram Kripal win.