Tej Pratap Yadav, the elder son of Lalu Prasad, is learnt to have demanded tickets for four of his loyalists for the upcoming elections.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is facing multiple challenges just ahead of the assembly elections. Besides the leadership crisis, there are several other key issues that the party is struggling to settle amicably. However, the growing rebellion against Lalu’s family by loyalists appears to spell trouble ahead. Several MLAs and prominent leaders and workers have already switched sides, many of whom include close relatives like daughter-in-law’s father Chandrika Rai. Days later, the party is now facing another rebellion in the form of Tej Pratap Yadav.
Tej Pratap Yadav, the elder son of Lalu Prasad, is learnt to have demanded tickets for four of his loyalists for the upcoming elections. His demand just ahead of the polls is seen as an attempt to chisel out a more prominent space for himself within the party.
The four names mooted by Tej Pratap are Angesh Singh (Sheohar), Chandra Prakash (Jehanabad), Dr Sandeep Kar (Karakat) and Dharmendra Kumar (Harnaut).
Notably, Tej Pratap had rebelled against his party ahead of the general elections last year after denial of tickets to his loyalists. He had gone on to field his own candidates as Independents from three Lok Sabha seats.
It is believed that Tej Pratap, who visited Ranchi last week and met his father Lalu, also the RJD president, put forward the demand.
According to a report in The Indian Express, Tejashwi Yadav is trying to avoid a repeat of the Lok Sabha poll drama of 2019. Tejashwi is seen as the apparent heir of Lalu and is also the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly. Tejashwi is the younger son of Lalu.
Although is is unclear what transpired in the conversation between Tej Pratap and Lalu during the former’s Ranchi visit, Tejashwi visited his brother’s residence in Patna on Saturday night where the two held talks over dinner.
Tej Pratap is an MLA from Mahua seat in Vaishali. He is also considering to change the seat. Reports say he may enter the fray from Hasanpur in Samastipur if his estranged wife Aishwarya Rai contests from Mahua.
An RJD source said that senior party leaders want one power centre in the party and have been rallying behind Tejashwi.
“Several senior leaders could be upset if their candidates cannot be accommodated… But the party does not want to turn Tej a rebel,” the source told the IE.
The RJD heads an alliance of opposition parties comprising the Congress, RLSP and VIP. This will be the first Assembly elections when Lalu will be missing from action and his sons — Tej Pratap and Tejashwi will lead the party’s campaign.
Assembly polls in Bihar are due to be held in October-November later this year.