The Rashtriya Janata Dal
(RJD- "National People's Party") is a political party
. The party was founded in 1997 by Laloo Prasad Yadav
. The party came about as a result of Lalu Prasad Yadav, ex-president of Janata Dal
, being evicted by Sharad Yadav, the then president, on corruption charges ($250 million) over the farm support funds. The mass base of the party has traditionally been Yadavs
, two large and relatively politically active segments of Bihar's population. In 2008, RJD received the status of recognized national level party following its performance in north-eastern states.
In the March 1998 national elections, RJD won 17 Lok Sabha seats from Bihar but failed to make significant headway in any other state. Later that year the party formed an alliance with Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party as an anti-BJP secular coalition but the coalition failed in garnering any widespread support.
In the October 1999 elections, RJD fought the election in alliance with Congress but lost 10 Lok Sabha seats including the seat of Lalu Prasad Yadav. In the 2000 state elections however, it performed unexpectedly well - winning a majority of the seats in the state assembly. Continuing its upswing in electoral fortunes, the party won 21 Lok Sabha seats in the 2004 elections that it fought in alliance with Congress. The pendulum swung back, however, next year and the party had to relinquish power in the 2005 state elections after winning only 75 seats. In the state elections held later that year - as a result of no party being able to form a government - RJD continued its downward slide losing 21 seats.
It held power in the Indian state of Bihar
, under the Chief Ministers
Laloo Yadav and then Rabri Devi
, who is also Laloo's wife, but after the elections in February 2005
the state of Bihar
came under President's Rule
through Governor of Bihar Sardar Buta Singh
. Since then, a new election has brought the NDA
to power in the state. The RJD is also a member of India's governing coalition
led by the Congress Party