Here it should be understood that the defection of all those leaders is not just the defection of individuals. They have a significant base of followers, based on which they can win a constituency or on lesser effect definitely inflict a defeat to RJD in its stronghold.
Such defection occurred after the list of the RJD tickets was declared. This is always common that people switch over loyalty because of dissidence in not getting a ticket. In every party it happens. But in case of RJD it’s bit different and very damaging.
Lalu said that all the defectors are opportunists. He is not wrong as every act in electoral politics is based on opportunism. Ideology is always secondary and even irrelevant once the election season starts. Therefore there is no big deal in it. What Lalu Yadav is avoiding is his blatant nepotism.
Everyone know that regional parties are headed by dynasties. Thus none in RJD perhaps ever opposed when Lalu made his politically novice wife Rabri Devi as chief minister of Bihar, when he had to resign. Even in this election too, had he given ticket to his wife alone, I don’t think anybody in RJD would have minded it? But giving ticket to his daughter Misa Bharati became a great blunder for him.
This angered Ram Kripal Yadav who could be considered as one of founding member of the party. In politics it’s always said that once a gate is open, the escape list became endless. Lalu was just able to stop a JDU engineered defection. But his blatant nepotism neutralised his success.
It’s a fact that in any society or a party, people remain loyal till a point, when things are not imposed upon fraudulently or forcibly. The Misa Bharati ticket issue in fact jerked many RJD leaders and workers to have a sense that they are just slave to a family and an individual. This sense makes one reactive. Why the political leaders and workers remain loyal to a party? It’s only because they expect future promotions! Lalu took all of them for granted.
Thus at the moment it appears that JDU is gaining ground from RJD. Nitish is yet to win minority support, but the way things are moving, Lalu may find it hard to keep his vote bank intact. Commonsense says he should have scrapped Misa Bharati's ticket immediately to save his party. But sometimes arrogance and over-confidence make an individual brazen.
Thus I don't think Lalu is doing anything for now and being satisfied with Pappu Yadav’s return to the RJD. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the Congress rethink it’s alliance with RJD and inclines towards JDU. If this happens then it would be really disastrous for the RJD's future.