Patna: Ram Kripal Yadav, once close enough to RJD chief Lalu Prasad to be known as his "Hanuman", remaining by his side in good times and bad, had rebelled and joined the BJP just before the Lok Sabha polls.
Mr Yadav, 57, was elected member of Lok Sabha four times, once to Rajya Sabha and twice to the Bihar Legislative Council. But despite his victories and his closeness to Mr Prasad, he was not chosen for a ministerial berth either in the United Front era in 1996-1998 or the UPA I government, when the RJD was part of the ruling coalition. And he had not been a minister in Bihar either.
The denial of a party ticket from Pataliputra proved the last straw. Defeating Mr Prasad's daughter Misa Bharti from Pataliputra, Mr Yadav today became a part of the Narendra Modi ministry. He is the Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation.
His induction in the Union Council of Ministers is seen as a BJP strategy to make a dent in Yadav votebank in the Assembly polls next year in Bihar.
Yadavs constitute over 12 per cent votes in Bihar and have traditionally been RJD voters. But the BJP made inroads in this category in the recent Lok Sabha election, hardselling the Mr Modi's image as tea seller and that he belonged to a backward caste.
Mr Yadav's presence in the ministry could prove vital in drawing Yadav voters. He is also one of the few leaders in Bihar who knows workers at the grassroot level.
Mr Yadav is no novice in electoral politics. The victory in May 2014 helped him enter the Lok Sabha for the fourth time. The previous three times were on RJD ticket. He represented the Patna constituency before its bifurcation into Patna Sahib and Patliputra seats in 2009.
But he vacated the seat for Mr Prasad, who lost the election that year to friend-turn-foe Ranjan Yadav of JD(U). In July 2010, Mr Yadav was made a member of the Rajya Sabha from the RJD.
Rising from the grassroots, Mr Yadav served as the Deputy Mayor of Patna Municipal Corporation from 1992-93. He was also member of Legislative Council from 1993-96.
Born on October 12, 1957 in Patna, Mr Yadav had a difficult childhood after his father Kishori Prasad passed away. He is a graduate from the Magadh University and also holds a law degree. He married to Kiran Devi in 1983 and the couple has two sons and a daughter.