RJD legislators met on Friday and authorised party chief Lalu Prasad to nominate its leader in the new Assembly.
The Grand Alliance partners will meet on Saturday to formally elect Nitish Kumar as their leader, Lalu said. Nitish is likely to stake claim to form the Bihar government after the meeting.
“We will recommend Nitish’s name during the Grand Alliance meeting, which will be attended by JD(U) president Sharad Yadav. The Congress will also meet on Saturday to elect its leader before attending the Grand Alliance meet,” he added.
Lalu played down speculation that Tejaswi Prasad Yadav, one of his sons, would be the RJD legislature party leader.
“Aap log chinta mat kijiye (please do not think too much about it). I have been authorised to choose the leader. Aapki chinta se ham chintit hai (We are concerned about your concern),” he said in his inimitable style.
Several RJD MLAs said they had no problem with the leadership of young Tejaswi, who has “shown maturity” for his age. Apart from Tejaswi, Abdul Bari Siddiqui is also a frontrunner for the post.
The RJD chief could delay the announcement for the post —that would indicate the party’s next course of action — for a while. Sources said the party would take time to build consensus on the new leader’s name.
When asked about it, Tejaswi ducked the question and said the RJD chief had been authorised to take a decision.
Siddiqui, who was the party leader during the 2010 Assembly elections, suffered a trust deficit after 13 RJD MLAs defected to the JD (U). Siddiqui also reportedly “opted out” from joining Nitish “in the last moments”.