Madhepura: Twice beaten by Lalu, Sharad now RJD nominee

Sharad Yadav

Other than Chapra (now called Saran), if there was any Lok Sabha seat from where Lalu Prasad felt comfortable in contesting, it was Madhepura. Dominated by Yadavs since decades, it’s rightly described as “Rome Pope ka, Madhepura Gope ka”.

Gope means Yadavs.

Once he became Bihar Chief Minister in March 1990, Lalu persuaded the Socialist from Jabalpur (in Madhya Pradesh), Sharad Yadav, to contest Lok Sabha polls from Bihar. Sharad won from Madhepura in 1991 and then again in 1996 as Janata Dal candidate.

However, the Janata Dal split in 1997 when Lalu formed his own outfit Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on July 5, 1997. The two Socialists friends became arch rivals. During 1998 Lok Sabha polls, Lalu contested from Madhepura as RJD nominee while Sharad as Janata Dal (U) candidate.

Despite embroiled in fodder scam, Lalu emerged triumphant after convincing his electorate to give a crushing defeat to the ‘outsider’.

However, Sharad avenged his defeat in 1999 Lok Sabha polls despite RJD rule in Bihar. Strangely, before the counting, Sharad staged a dharna complaining that Lalu had rigged the poll. But when the result came, he had defeated his friend-turned-foe Lalu. An alliance partner of BJP, Sharad was made Minister in the Vajpayee regime.

In 2004, the scene reversed. This time, Lalu avenged his defeat at the hands of Sharad. Lalu, in 2004, had also contested from Chapra. He retained Chapra and resigned from Madhepura. (In the 2004 byelection, Pappu Yadav won from Madhepura).

Lalu-Sharad rivalry continued till Mahagatbandhan was formed in 2015. But when Nitish joined the BJP-led NDA in July 2017, Sharad sided with RJD-alliance.

The Socialist from Madhya Pradesh, who has not much following in this part of the cow-belt, Sharad was eventually rewarded with RJD ticket from Madhepura for 2019 parliamentary polls. The sitting RJD MP from Madhepura, Pappu Yadav, had already been suspended earlier for speaking against party leadership and, predictably, denied ticket.

Now, Pappu is in the fray as an Independent. However, the contest has been made triangular with the JD (U) fielding Dinesh Chandra Yadav (presently minister in Nitish Government) from Madhepura for April 23 election.

Whoever emerges triumphant on May 23, the counting day, one thing is for sure: it will again be a Yadav.

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Madhepura: Twice beaten by Lalu, Sharad now RJD nominee

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