With Vajpayee’s exit, the country was once again back to the question: ‘Who’ll be the next Prime Minister?’The non-Congress, non-BJP parties was trying hard to find a Prime Minister. Laloo Yadav wanted the top job so desperately that he virtually gave up chief ministership and Patna to camp in Delhi, regardless of the city’s climate. But with only 20 MPs from Bihar his claim was considerably weakened.The Janata Dal had done much better in Karnataka; besides Laloo had a big opponent in Mulayam Singh Yadav who could not let another Yadav beat him to the prime ministership. Mulayam campaigned with the Left, Harkishen Singh Surjeet in the main, to sabotage Laloo. He is scam tainted (the first fodder scam disclosures had begun to come in the last days of the Rao Raj), Mulayam told the Left, besides he has treated the Communists with disdain in Bihar.He even split the CPI.