Shocked by RJD rout, Lalu Prasad gives up meal at hospital

Stunned by the rout of his Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar and
Jharkhand in the Lok Sabha election, Lalu Prasad had given up lunch after the
declaration of poll results on May 23 for two days.

Prasad had the meal on Sunday, May 26, after doctors,
worried for his health, pleaded him that proper food intake was required for
his medication to continue, Dr Umesh Prasad, head of the team looking after
him, told PTI on Monday.

The RJD president is under treatment for blood pressure,
sugar and kidney ailment at the Ranchi-based Rajendra Prasad Institute of
Medical Sciences since December 2017 after he was sent to jail by a court, RIMS
sources said.

The doctor said Prasad’s health parameters are normal.

The jovial RJD supremo, known for his earthy humours,
apparently could not digest that his party drew a blank in its stronghold Bihar
and also in the neighbouring Jharkhand.

This is the first instance after its inception in 1997, that
the RJD could not win a parliamentary seat in Bihar but it’s the second time in
a row that it failed to open account.

Heading the ‘mahagathbandhan’ in Bihar, the RJD had fought
on 19 seats and shared Arrah constituency with CPI(ML); it got a drubbing at
the hands of NDA on all the seats.

Prasad’s eldest daughter Misa Bharti was defeated for a
second time by Union minister Ramkripal Yadav, her father’s former close
associate, on Pataliputra constituency.

On Saran seat, held by the RJD president for several times
in the past, Chandrika Rai, father-in-law of his elder son Tej Pratap Yadav,
tasted defeat at the hands of BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

Of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, only Kishanganj was won
by Congress, a grand alliance ally.

This was the first occasion that RJD went into an election
without its popular leader Lalu Prasad. His wife Rabri Devi and son and heir
apparent Tejashwi Yadav could do little to perk party’s poll performance.

Even during the “Modi wave” of 2014, RJD had
managed to win four Lok Sabha seats in Bihar.

Later, in the Bihar election, Prasad’s party in alliance
with JD(U) and Congress emerged as the single largest party with 80 MLAs. Chief
Minister Nitish Kumar left the grand alliance in July 2017 and joined hands
with BJP again.

RJD spokesman Mritunjay Tiwari told PTI over phone from
Patna, that the party would discuss in detail what went wrong for it in the
election. But he said Prasad’s absence was a big reason for the drubbing.

Tiwari said the results have given the party “a
lesson” which the leadership would definitely take into account to win
back people’s support.

The RJD, which formed the mahagathbandhan with Congress, JMM
and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik), got only Palamau (SC) seat as per
the seat-sharing adjustment among them.

But it lost the seat. In Koderma, former RJD state unit
president Annapurna Devi fought on BJP ticket and defeated JVM president
Babulal Marandi.

RJD leaders on Monday are meeting for a review of the
party’s humiliating performance, its leader Kailash Yadav said.

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