The curtain rose on yet another succession drama, with Mulayam Singh Yadav again struggling to become the Prime Minister. This time he had the vocal support from Harkishen Singh Surjeet and Jyoti Basu, with whom he had several meetings in Banga Bhawan. But ranged against Yadav was the other Yadav, Laloo, who fancied himself as the real king-maker. Last time it was Mulayam who had stopped him from becoming Prime Minister, this time he would stop Mulayam. Laloo had by now lost favour among the Communists because of the fodder scam in Bihar, but there were others he could lobby with. At one stage Laloo told Chandrababu Naidu to take the job. But Naidu, aware that years were on his side, and that any arrangement would be short-lived and tainted, was quick to refuse.