Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and Rajya Sabha MP Ram Kripal Yadav, who recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, returned to Patna to a resounding welcome from supporters on Saturday. Mr. Yadav, a close aide of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, is set to give a tough fight to Mr. Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti in the Patliputra constituency.

Hundreds of supporters gathered at the Patna airport ahead of his arrival this afternoon. They gave him a floral welcome amid loud cheering. In a move that could raise eyebrows in the election season, some among the crowd even waved currency notes.

Mr. Yadav visited a temple and paid tributes at the Hazrat Shaheed Sayed Ghulam Safdar Peer Murad Shah tomb (locally known as the High Court Mazar). He was later accorded a formal welcome at the Bihar BJP office. Notably, no prominent BJP leaders were present at the function.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Yadav, a three-time MP, said he had always worked for the people of Patliputra irrespective of whether he was in office. “I represent social justice and secularism and in future I will work to strengthen them. I have stood with the people of Patliputra through thick and thin. I did not come to the BJP with any conditions. I thank the party leadership for my candidature.”