Rebel Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Ram Kripal Yadav joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday and praised the party and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi while accusing his former mentor Lalu Prasad of practising dynastic politics.
Mr. Yadav cited the rise of Mr. Modi from a BJP worker to becoming its prime ministerial nominee as an example of the party's “democratic” functioning.
“If a person whose father sold tea and whose mother worked in other people's houses can become a prime ministerial candidate in the party, then why can’t I, whose father too came from a humble background, support him,?” he asked.
Mr. Yadav, who till recently was a confidant of Mr. Lalu Prasad, said his decision to quit the RJD was based on “ideological reasons.”
“The RJD has moved away from its core values. Mr. Prasad gave precedence to his family over party and cadres. I was in a dilemma on what to do for the last few days and then decided to quit the party and join the BJP for the sake of promoting social justice,” he said.
He said Mr. Modi improved the living condition of Muslims in Gujarat and accused the Nitish Kumar government of keeping alive the bogey of communalism vis-a-vis Mr. Modi. He said there had been no development of Muslims in Bihar and the community now realised that it had only been treated as “vote bank.”
BJP president Rajnath Singh welcomed the Bihar leader, who has been the RJD general secretary for the last 17 years, into the party.
Mr. Yadav is a key contender for the Patliputra seat in Bihar, from where the RJD has fielded Mr. Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharati.