Two days ago, the Supreme Court asked a lower court in Ranchi to revive the conspiracy charges against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in the fodder scam. The apex court has given nine months for the lower court to complete trials in the case, which is over two decades old.
Many Lalu Yadav loyalists, say sources, are contemplating switching sides. The ruling, they say, has rattled the old guards in the party who believe that the tainted leader will establish his son and deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav in the party.
"There are many senior leaders in the party who think that Lalu Yadav will do everything to establish his son as heir apparent in the party. Many are mulling switching sides," a highly placed source told.
Many others like Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Taslimuddin have also reportedly voiced their displeasure over revival of the charges and the prospect of his son heading the party. Coupled with the fact that Lalu Yadav's other children, son Tej Pratap and daughter Misa Bharti, have voiced their political aspirations, the feeling of RJD becoming a family-run party is rampant among the old guards.
"Lalu Yadav won't be able to contest elections post the conviction. And many in the party don't want to be led by his children," sources told.