Is Lalu Prasad worried about the party?
No, no. It is not the first time that he is in this kind of a situation. From the time he was in student politics, he has gone to jail. He has prepared his family to deal with adversities.
So he prepared the family for this situation.
I have seen raids, and papa going to jail, since I was eight years old. In fact, I have learnt the most from my mother, who took care of nine kids, the party and her chief ministerial responsibilities. My parents got married, and soon after, papa went to jail. It was Emergency. When Misa didi was born, again he went to jail.
The family must be under pressure because of the corruption cases.
This is political vendetta. There are cases against me, my mother, my sisters and my sisters-in-law. The [investigating] agencies might as well have opened their offices in our homes. But, we have always found the strength to fight back.
So you feel this is an attempt to corner the family and the party.
They want to finish off the family and the party. But, the people can see through the designs. They understand that this was all an excuse for Nitish Kumarji to part ways with us.
Did your father decide roles for each family member?
Papa is not like that. He never forced us to do anything. I used to play cricket. Later, I entered politics, and I have given it my full commitment.
It must be a learning experience for you.
I contested elections for the first time, and I became deputy chief minister as well as leader of opposition in the same term. Thanks to Nitishji, I have learnt so much. He gave me the opportunity to learn by making me leader of opposition.
Have you faced any difficulty?
Everyone has been supportive, in the family and in the party. Our allies are supportive. There are people in the NDA (the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance) who compliment me.
You are being called Laluji’s political successor.
Whether I will be his successor or not, that is for the people to decide. They have to judge whether I have the capability. If I was not capable, the senior leaders in the party would have opposed me. But they have proposed my name as the chief ministerial face for the coming election.
Are there differences within the family?
If I have become leader of opposition, it is with the support of everyone.
Your elder brother Tej Pratap seems to be unhappy with you.
That is completely untrue. I have my elder brother’s complete support and blessings. He is my guide and mentor, and we are a team.