Despite claims of his youngest daughter's wedding to SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav's grand nephew not being a political move, Lalu has drawn the media's attention on himself yet again.
The second marriage in the household, that of Rahul Yadav, son of SP chief's niece Sheela Yadav and Isha Yadav, daughter of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav's brother-in-law, Sadhu Yadav, has triggered speculations about the choice of alliances that Lalu made.
Not being able to fight the elections himself, Lalu seems to be strengthening his party's support which is already on staggering grounds with the uncertain alliance with JD(U).
Not the first time
The above-mentioned incidents are not unique in nature, given the history of political alliances Lalu made in the past. Two years ago, Lalu's sixth daughter Anushka married Chiranjeev Rao, son of then Haryana power minister Captain Ajay Singh. Incidentally, during the parliamentary elections, Anushka had campaigned extensively for her father-in-law who had contested from Rewari as the Congress candidate.
Lalu's fifth daughter-Hema-also got married Vineet Yadav-who belongs to a political family in Delhi. His fourth daughter-Ragini-also tied the knot with Rahul, who is the son of the then SP MLA from Ghaziabad-Jitendra Yadav, who joined the Congress later.
'A'political alliances to bridge gaps?
Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad may not have started on a positive note in the early years of their career. In UP, inter-caste marriages can make or break politics. Amid this scenario, Mulayam had the presure of showing his loyalty to the Yadavs when both his sons married in Thakur families.
As a reassertion of his community, the wedlocks in the Yadav families will re-instate his position in the UP. In fact, an alliance with Lalu, who is the most famous Yadav outside UP, takes care of Mulayam's problems.
Though its his grand nephew who got married to Lalu's youngest daughter, Mulayam made it a point to make him the focus of his campaign. As a result, Mulayam elevated him to a special status by letting him contest from Mainpuri, which was his seat in the recent by-polls.
Moreover, the alliances also worked as a bridge between the two Yadavs divided between the two states. The Yadavs from the UP and the Yadavs from Bihar may now hope for a matrimonial as well as political alliance.
They had started together under the wing of VP Singh's Janata Parivar in 1989, but soon part ways due to ideological differences. The rift between the two was played out in the open in 1997 , when Mulayam accused Lalu of thwarting his chances of becoming the PM.
However, with the rise of BJP and Narendra Modi, both the parties have no option but to come together and compete the right wing. However, being too hopeful is also not a probability as both the leaders have a huge gap in their ideological approach. Moreover, Lalu is now politically insignificant in Bihar and Mulayam is unlikely to have any clout over the eastern Yadavs, thus restricting the alliances to just matrimonial stop gap.