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Union minister Ram Kripal Yadav drives e-rickshaw, leaves

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Press Trust of India Patna
It was a "roadshow" with a difference for the residents of the Bihar capital.
Joggers and morning walkers at the historic Gandhi Maidan here were bemused Sunday morning when they found a Union minister, who is the BJP candidate from a neighbouring constituency, driving an e-rickshaw.
Ram Kripal Yadav, remembered by many as a hands-on deputy mayor of the city who rose to become an MP and one of the closest aides of Lalu Prasad, when he held sway over Bihar, was seen clad in a T-shirt and track pants, deftly navigating the three-wheeler through the traffic.
Many youngsters were seen capturing the moment on their mobile phones as Yadav made a round of the sprawling park, which has a perimeter of more than two kilometers.
"It was nothing. I come to Gandhi Maidan ever morning. This has been my routine for 30 years. Besides getting some exercise, the daily jaunt helps me to learn about the people's problems first-hand and I try to help them in whatever way it is possible," Yadav told PTI.
"This morning, this e-rickshaw driver asked me fondly - sir, would you not honour me with a ride. I said why not. I know how to drive the vehicle and asked him to move aside and took the steering handle," he added.
Seeking re-election from Pataliputra Lok Sabha seat, Yadav is pitted against the daughter of his former mentor, Misa Bharti, whom he had defeated five years ago.
Yadav had joined the BJP just ahead of the previous Lok Sabha polls, in one of the biggest jolts to Prasad's RJD, and bagged the seat, which came into being in the 2008 delimitation.
Prasad, too, had fought unsuccessfully from the seat in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. He lost to another confidant- turned-adversary Ranjan Yadav of the JD(U).
Although fairly popular in his constituency, the BJP candidate faces an uphill task this time in view of the fact that Misa had lost by a margin of just about 40,000 votes, despite the Modi wave.
Moreover, the CPI(ML) - which had bagged over 55,000 votes - has announced that it would not be contesting the seat this time in reciprocation of the RJD's support to it in Ara. This may boost the prospects of Lalu Prasad's eldest daughter.
Also, of the six assembly segments under the Lok Sabha constituency only two - Danapur and Phulwari - are held by the NDA. The remaining four - Masaurhi, Maner, Paliganj and Bikram - are held by the Congress-RJD combine.

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First Published: Mar 31 2019 | 6:00 PM IST

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