The ebb and flow of political rivalries: The Sushil Modi and Lalu Prasad Yadav story

Patna: A pall of gloom descended upon the political landscape of Bihar with the passing of Sushil Kumar Modi, the former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar. But amidst the mourning, one could not help but reflect on the intricate tapestry of his relationship with his long-time rival, Lalu Prasad Yadav.

Their political journeys had been intertwined for over five decades, forged in the crucible of student activism during the turbulent 1970s. Sushil Modi and Lalu Prasad, though ideological adversaries, shared a bond that transcended the boundaries of their political thought school.

Lalu, the socialist firebrand, and Sushil, the Sangh-inspired stalwart, had clashed on many fronts, from the Patna University Students’ Union to the corridors of power in Patna. Their political differences were deep-rooted, but their personal rapport remained cordial, a testament to their mutual respect.

“Sushil Modi was a fighter, dedicated, social and political person,” reminisced Lalu, his voice tinged with a hint of wistfulness, as he recalled the days of their student activism.

The two leaders had risen from the ashes of the anti-corruption protests that had rocked Bihar, each carving out their own distinct paths in the state’s political landscape.

The political rivalry between them intensified during the Fodder Scam, with Sushil Modi emerging as a relentless crusader, determined to expose Lalu’s alleged misdeeds. Yet, even in the heat of their battles, there was an underlying respect that bound them together, forged in their shared experiences.

As the years passed, the political landscape shifted, with the BJP, RJD, and JD(U) emerging as the dominant players in Bihar. Sushil Modi, alongside Nitish Kumar, played a pivotal role in unseating Lalu’s 15-year rule, leveraging the Fodder Scam to deliver a decisive blow. But even in victory, Sushil’s compassion shone through, as he advocated for the government to ensure Lalu’s medical treatment during his recent health crisis.

The passing of Sushil Modi has left a big void on Bihar’s political landscape, a testament to the complexity and depth of his relationship with his long-time rival, Lalu Prasad Yadav. Their story serves as a poignant reminder that even in the heat of political battles, the bonds of shared experiences and mutual respect can transcend the boundaries of ideology and partisanship.

IANS

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