Rabri Devi's political role curtailed

Rabri Devi's political role curtailed

Though RJD strongman Lalu Prasad had indicated earlier that Rabri Devi was unlikely to be projected as the chief ministerial candidate for the RJD-LJP alliance in the assembly elections in October-November this year, it became a fait accompli after an accord was reached between the two allies.

Prasad's LJP counterpart Ramvilas Paswan, recently announced the RJD chief as the alliance's chief ministerial candidate against political rival Nitish Kumar, the current chief minister.

A close aide of Paswan claimed that the LJP leader had made it clear to Prasad that Rabri Devi would not be acceptable to the people as chief minister.Paswan agreed to project Prasad as the chief ministerial candidate with the LJP leader's brother and party president Pashupati Kumar Paras as deputy chief minister."Only Lalu or Paswan can counter Nitish," a RJD leader said.

Prasad and Paswan had of late launched a joint campaign against the alleged failure of the Nitish Kumar government on all fronts, but Rabri Devi had remained away and also did not figure at the press conference which the two leaders held in New Delhi to announce the seat-sharing deal.

Rabri Devi, the first and only woman chief minister of Bihar, ruled from 1997 to 2005 with support of husband Prasad, whom she replaced in the chair after he was implicated in the multi crore rupee Fodder Scam.

Nobody had ever imagined that a junior school dropout and a simple housewife would be the head of India's second most populous state in 1997 when Rabri Devi was dragged into politics by Prasad.

Her first term as chief minister lasted for a little over 18 months and the second just about 12 months. She became became chief minister for a third term on March 11, 2000.
Senior RJD leaders, however, said Rabri Devi would be a star-campaigner for the RJD-LJP alliance and would contest the elections from Raghopur in Vaishali district.

"She is not out of politics and is preparing for a hectic schedule for campaigning once the Election Commission declares the poll schedule," they said.Born in 1959, Rabri Devi married Prasad at the age of 14. She is a mother of nine children.

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