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Tej Pratap’s absence at crucial RJD meet sparks fresh speculation of rift within Lalu family

Tej Pratap, Tejashwi Yadav, RJD rift, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Rabri Devi Tej Pratap’s absence at crucial RJD meet sparks fresh speculation of rift within Lalu family

Adding a new page to already publicly shown differences between jailed RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav’s two sons – Tej Pratap and Tejashwi, the elder (Tej Pratap) on Tuesday remained absent from a crucial meeting of the party, triggering fresh speculations of trouble within the Yadav family. According to a report in The Indian Express, Tej Pratap had on Thursday took a veiled dig at younger brother Tejashwi when he said that “no power on earth can underestimate” his value in the party.

“Why should anyone sideline me, and how can they do that? My father is here, he is in jail. Some people in the party are spreading rumours. This is a ploy by the RSS and BJP,” Tej Pratap told reporters.

At present, Tejashwi, the younger of the siblings, is leading the party in Lalu’s absence and is the Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly. He is largely seen as the heir apparent to Lalu’s legacy in politics. In the erstwhile Grand Alliance government of which the RJD was a part, while Tejashwi was made the Deputy CM, Tej Pratap was made Cabinet minister.

While Tejashwi attended Tuesday’s meeting that was presided over by Lalu’s wife and former Bihar CM Rabri Devi, Tej Pratap opted to skip the meet that was aimed at discussing preparations for the Lok Sabha polls.

When Tejashwi was asked about his elder brother’s absence, he tried to play it down by saying that he was tired after a visit to Mathura and accused the ‘BJP-RSS forces’ of trying to create a rift between the siblings.

But a source in RJD told The Indian Express that the brothers’ actions are not sending a good message to the party rank and file. Quoting a RJD leader, the report said that too many overt and covert posturings are not doing any good to the morale of party workers.

“Lalu Prasad had given enough signal on who would succeed him when Tejashwi was made the Deputy CM after the Grand Alliance’s victory in 2015, while Tej Pratap, even though he was the elder, was made a minister,” the source told the daily.

This is not the first time when difference between the brothers have come out in open. A party insider told the daily that two months ago, when Tejashwi was on a cycle yatra, his elder brother had reacted with a visit to JP’s native village Sitab Diara. The leader said that it was seen more as a tussle between the two than an attempt at strengthening the party ahead of the polls. The leader said that Tej Pratap should have attended the meet.

Source: Financial Express