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RJD’s Tej Pratap Yadav attends Union Minister’s program, speculates

Tej Pratap Yadav had arrived to attend the first death anniversary of Ram Vilas Paswan. (file)

Patna:

Lalu Prasad Yadav’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav arrived at a function organized by Union Minister Pashupati Kumar Paras on Friday, prompting speculation about the RJD leader wearing his religious fervor on his sleeve, the BJP-led NDA. Their father has always fought tooth and nail.

Tej Pratap raised many eyebrows when the Lok Janshakti Party faction led by Mr Paras went to the Patna office to attend the first death anniversary of late LJP founder and former Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

Warmly welcomed by Mr Paras, the Hasanpur MLA took the mic to express his full support to the Union Minister’s demand that his deceased elder brother should be given the Bharat Ratna.

While Tej Pratap chose to honor the invitation given by Mr. Paras, younger brother Tejashwi, who lives a few hundred meters away, preferred to lay a wreath at his residence, where a portrait of Mr. Paswan along with Jayaprakash Narayan was placed. who had died. Anniversaries fall on the same date.

Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is in Delhi, went to the residence of Mr. Paswan’s son Chirag to attend the function organized on the same occasion. The RJD supremo, trying to woo the Jamui MP, who had been isolated in the LJP since Partition, insisted on close ties with the deceased Dalit leader.

Tej Pratap was also clear by his absence at the meeting of RJD MLAs convened by Tejashwi to discuss the strategy for the bypolls to Tarapur and Kusheshwar Asthan assembly constituencies.

The development comes a day after Tej Pratap’s name was dropped from the list of 20 star campaigners of the party.

“The names of Tej Pratap, Misa (Lalu Prasad Yadav’s eldest daughter and Rajya Sabha MP) and Rabri Devi (wife, former chief minister) are not in the list as they expressed their inability to participate in the campaign.” A senior party leader, considered close to Lalu Prasad’s family, said on condition of anonymity.

“Not much should be read into this matter. These are just by-elections,” he insisted.

However, the BJP, which is the main rival of the RJD, ran into trouble with the remark that dropping their names indicated “time has come for Misa and Tej Pratap”.

Despite being younger than Misa and Tej Pratap, his father’s favorite Tejashwi has overshadowed his elder siblings in terms of dominance in the party.

A former deputy chief minister, who is currently the leader of the opposition in the state assembly, Tejashwi Yadav emerged as the de facto leader of the party while his father was serving a sentence in fodder scam cases.

Tej Pratap has often compared himself to Lord Krishna and Tejashwi to Arjuna, to convey the message that being an adversary, he was the protector of his younger brother.

Nevertheless, the political climate of the state has been witness to several outbursts of the unstable leader, who had formed an organization named after his parents, when some of his confidants were not considered for party tickets in the Lok Sabha elections.

Recently, another close aide of him joined the party led by Mr. Paras after he was sacked from the post of RJD students’ union chief. Tej Pratap reacted by creating a parallel student body, which caused a stir in the rank and file of the party.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NB staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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