From a murder case conviction to fighting the bigwigs, the 52-year-old Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav has travelled across the political landscape in the state. Pappu Yadav was born in a zamindar family in Bihar's Khurda Karveli village on December 24, 1967. He did his schooling in Supaul and completed graduation in political science from BN Mandal University, Madhepura.
It was his grandfather who used to call him Pappu in his childhood. He is married to Ranjeet Ranjan, who herself is a Lok Sabha MP affiliated with Congress. The couple has two children.
Chief ministerial candidate
For the coming polls, Ranjan, who formed the Jan Adhikar Party - Loktantrik (JAP-L) in 2015, has been named the chief ministerial candidate of the newly-formed Progressive Democratic Alliance (PDA) and is all set to take on both the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Grand Alliance. Pappu will contest the upcoming state election from Madhepura constituency. He will take on JDU's Nikhil Mandal and RJS's Chandrasekhar in Madhepura.
People-centric working style
Pappu Yadav-led JAP-L has cobbled up an alliance with Chandrasekhar Azad Ravan's Azad Samaj Party, the Bahujan Mukti Party (BMP) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) to contest the Bihar Assembly election against the ruling NDA.
Earlier, announcing his name Chandrashekhar Azad said, “The working style of Pappu Yadav is people-centric. I hope the people who love Bihar and feel its pain will give our alliance a chance this time around.”
Pappu Yadav contested his first Bihar Assembly elections in 1990 from Singheshwarsthan, Madhepura as an independent candidate (after the Janata Dal didn’t give him a ticket) and won it with a comfortable margin of votes. After the elections, he supported Lalu Prasad Yadav, who came to power for the first time.
He contested 1996 Lok Sabha election on Samajwadi Party ticket, the 1999 election with Lok Janata Party and the 2004 election as a Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) candidate.
Yadav was not allowed to contest the 2009 Lok Sabha election because he had been convicted for murder and was later expelled by RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav for a brief period.
Always critical about Nitish Kumar
Pappu Yadav has always been critical of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is also the chief ministerial candidate of the NDA. Pappu Yadav has alleged that the Nitish Kumar government failed to properly handle the Covid-19 situation in the state.
He also criticised Nitish Kumar over the migrants’ issues. Hundreds of migrant workers returned to Bihar during Covid-19-induced lockdown. Pappu Yadav alleged that the Nitish Kumar government failed to provide relief to migrants, hundreds of whom reached Bihar walking over a thousand kilometres.
"Corruption-free state in six months"
Former Lok Sabha MP Pappu Yadav had in September released his party’s manifesto -- Pratigya Patra-- promising to make Bihar a corruption-free state in six months if the party is voted to power
The heavyweight leader from Kosi and Seemanchal (border) areas of northeast Bihar also promised a turnaround for the State in three years time. “It will be 3 years versus 30 years of RJD and NDA regime in the state,” he said.
Before releasing the manifesto to media persons, he claimed that he had filed an affidavit before a judicial magistrate in Patna stating that his party was willing to face legal action if it failed to fulfil any of the promises.
“This is the first time in the political history of the country that a party has filed such an affidavit in court before releasing its manifesto… every promise made in the manifesto will be completed in a time-bound manner once my party forms the government in Bihar,” Pappu Yadav asserted.