Lalu Prasad’s disgruntled elder son Tej Pratap Yadav indulged in a virtual show of strength on Monday when he took out a procession under the banner of a parallel outfit that he had recently floated in protest against his marginalization in the RJD.
The mercurial leader led a motor vehicle procession, travelling by an open car to the historic Gandhi Maidan where he paid floral tributes at a statue of Jayaprakash Narayan, his father’s political guru, on the occasion of his birth anniversary.
Thereafter he walked barefoot to reach the residence of the legendary socialist leader, which has now been converted into a museum, and declared his plans to launch an “LP (Lalu Prasad) movement”, modelled after the “JP movement” of 1974 in which his father had taken part as a student leader.
Tej Pratap also asserted that he was firmly with the RJD (khoonta gaad ke) and charged the BJP-RSS with spreading rumours about his parting of ways with it.
His disaffection with the party founded and headed by his father was, however, for all to witness when he emerged from his residence along with scores of members of “Chhatra Janshakti Parishad”, which he had floated a few months ago after one of his close aides was sacked as the president of the RJD’s student wing.
The procession sped away, taking the road in front of the residence of his mother and former chief minister Rabri Devi, without Tej Pratap making a halt to seek her blessings. Rabri Devi had returned to Patna from Delhi last night apparently in a bid to calm down her volatile elder son who has been making headlines because of his perceived rivalry with younger, but more powerful, brother Tejashwi.
Tej Pratap’s latest round of tantrums followed the omission of his name from the RJD’s list of star campaigners for two assembly segments. Sources close to the family claimed that Tej Pratap, besides eldest sister Misa Bharti, a Rajya Sabha member, and Rabri Devi had “expressed their inability” to take part in the campaign because of which their names were not included.
However, the former state minister took to Twitter to criticize the party’s move, accusing it of having “insulted” his mother and sister, and all women in general, “during Navratri when Goddess Durga is worshipped”.
Tejashwi Yadav, who is the leader of the opposition and Lalu Prasad’s heir apparent, was asked about the procession taken out by his elder brother who keeps ranting against his close lieutenants, including state RJD chief Jagadanand Singh and close aide Sanjay Yadav.
“I extend my best wishes. It is a good thing to do anything in the name of JP on his birth anniversary”, said Tejashwi, with a hint of distaste on his face. (PTI)