Days after holding a crucial meeting with estranged JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) president Babu Lal Marandi, RJD chief Lalu Yadav reconstituted his party’s working committee from jail.
The list released by the RJD on Wednesday shows that Lalu has removed criminal-turned-politician Mohammad Shahabuddin from all party posts, but appointed his wife Heena Shahab as a member of the working committee.
RJD insiders feel that Lalu, who always projected Shahabuddin as RJD’s Muslim face, gave a key position to his wife Heena in order to keep minority community in the party fold. “Restructuring has been done in order to strengthen party’s base in Bihar. Heena Shahab has the support of people in Siwan and party will only gain politically by giving her a place in the working committee,” RJD’s national general secretary Qamar Alam told this newspaper.
After Shahabuddin was convicted and disqualified as member of Parliament in 2007, his wife Heena had contested Lok Sabha elections on RJD ticket from Siwan in 2009 and 2014 but lost both the polls to BJP as CPI(ML) ate into the secular votes.
Lalu has also included almost all the members of his family into the list of the working committee. Tejashwi Yadav, who is considered heir apparent of Lalu, has been made the member of working committee along with his other siblings Tej Pratap and Misa Bharti.
Lalu’s wife and former Bihar CM Rabri Devi has been given the post of national vice-president.