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How will RJD quash Tej Pratap's revolt?

April 20, 2019 14:49 IST

'Yes, I am a rebel, I am the son of Laluji and his blood is in me,' Tej Pratap is reported to have told supporters.
M I Khan reports from Patna.

Former Bihar CM Rabri Devi feeds her sons Tejaswi Yadav, left, and Tej Partap Yadav, right, cake to celebrate her husband Lalu Prasad Yadav's 71st birthday in Patna, June 11, 2018. Photograph: PTI Photo

IMAGE: Former Bihar CM Rabri Devi feeds her sons Tejaswi Yadav, left, and Tej Partap Yadav, right, cake to celebrate her husband Lalu Prasad Yadav's 71st birthday in Patna, June 11, 2018. Photograph: PTI

Perhaps taking advantage of his father Lalu Prasad Yadav's absence from the electoral fray -- the Rashtriya Janata Dal founder is in a Ranchi prison hospital after being sentenced in fodder scam cases -- his elder son Tej Pratap Yadav has openly revolted against his younger brother Tejashwi Yadav.

Their mother Rabri Devi, once Bihar's chief minister, has appealed to Tej Pratap to return home. Tej Pratap has not returned home since he visited Lalu in Ranchi last year, soon after filing a petition seeking divorce from his wife of a few months, family sources said.

Tej Pratap wed Aishwarya Rai, a senior RJD leader's daughter, last May.

Tej Pratap has now refused to accept RJD candidate Syed Faisal Ali as the party nominee in Bihar's Sheohar Lok Sabha constituency and has instead been campaigning for Angesh Singh, a candidate of his newly floated Lalu-Rabri Morcha.

"Tej Pratap is seeking votes for Angesh Singh against the RJD candidate" a leader of the Lalu-Rabri Morcha told Rediff.com over the telephone from Sheohar where Tej Pratap is camping currently.

'Yes, I am a rebel, I am the son of Laluji and his blood is in me,' Tej Pratap is reported to have told supporters.

 

Tej Pratap insists that the Lalu-Rabri Morcha is part of the RJD like the Bharatiya Janata Party is part of the Sangh Parivar. He launched the Morcha after alleging that he was sidelined in the party.

Tej Pratap, 30, may be elder, but his parents have anointed their younger son Tejashwi, 28, as Lalu's political heir.

In November 2015 after the RJD, Janata Dal-United-Congress Mahagathbandhan came to power in Bihar, Tejashwi was appointed deputy chief minister. Tej Pratap was made a mere minister.

In the party too, Lalu has promoted Tejashwi more vigorously, which led to Tej Pratap being sidelined.

After the RJD was ejected from power, following Nitish Kumar abandoning the Mahagathbandhan and joining hand with the BJP, Tejashwi was appointed leader of the Opposition in the Bihar assembly.

After that decision was made, Tej Pratap began taking a different stand in public from his family's, embarrassing the RJD's ruling clan no end.

The RJD has already begun projecting Tejashwi as its chief ministerial candidate in the 2020 Bihar assembly election.

Unlike Tejashwi, a cricketer turned politician, who is articulate and fluent in English, Tej Pratap is relatively inarticulate, even in Hindi. He is more inclined to spiritualism.

Tej Pratap, who wed in May 2018, stunned his family and RJD leaders when he sought a divorce.

After he took that decision, he has kept a distance from his family, especially his mother Rabri Devi. He lives in the official bungalow allotted to him in Patna by himself.

Last month, Tej Pratap warned Tejashwi that if his brother did not consider his demand, then two of his supporters would contest against RJD candidates as Independents.

Under the current Mahagtahbandhan's seat sharing formula, the RJD will contest 19 of Bihar's 40 Lok Sabha seats, the Congress 9 while smaller parties will be in contention in the remaining constituencies.

M I Khan in Patna
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