File photo of Aishwarya Rai at her wedding with Tej Pratap Yadav.
File photo of Aishwarya Rai at her wedding with Tej Pratap Yadav.
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Patna: The samdhi of Lalu Prasad and seven-time MLA Chandrika Rai has finally quit the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Rai’s daughter, Aishwarya Rai, is married to Lalu’s oldest son, Tej Pratap Yadav, but the two are in the midst of a very public bitter divorce process.

Rai cited his inability to work with Lalu’s sons for his decision.   

“I see no future for the RJD after Lalu Prasad,” Rai told ThePrint. “The two (Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav) are too immature and it is difficult for leaders of our generation to work with them. Most of the time they are missing.” 

He also accused the RJD leadership of inaction with regard to Tej Pratap Yadav allegedly campaigning against him during Parliamentary elections at the Saran Lok Sabha seat, which Rai contested on a RJD ticket and lost.   

“After the Lok Sabha defeat, many RJD candidates, including myself, demanded action against Tej Pratap and other leaders who had worked against party candidates. We were given assurances but nothing happened,” Rai said. 

He, however, did admit that his decision to quit the RJD was also partly influenced by personal reasons. “But the problem is also beyond personal problems. There are many MLAs in the party who will happily cross over provided that they handed tickets for the assembly polls,” he said. 

Rai is now likely to shift to the JD(U) — he met Chief Minister Nitish Kumar about three weeks ago.

The seven-time MLA is a political heavyweight in his own right. He is the son of former Bihar chief minister, the late Daroga Prasad Rai, and has influence in the Saran area.    

The divorce proceedings between Aishwarya and Tej Pratap have been bitter as she has alleged mental and physical torture by her in-laws, and in December alleged that she was dragged out of 10 Circular Road by her hair and thrown out of the house by mother-in-law Rabri Devi. 

Also read: DU friends remember a ‘happy-go-lucky’ Aishwarya Rai, before she married Lalu Prasad’s son

More woes for RJD ahead of assembly elections

While Rai has quit, the RJD has to contend with more disgruntled MLAs. Rai isn’t the only one to have questioned Tejashwi’s leadership; other senior RJD leaders such as Raghuvansh Prasad Singh have also expressed anger at the functioning of the party.

“Unless the party launches a grassroots movement, it cannot hope to return to power,” Singh told ThePrint. 

Four RJD MLAs also defied the party and participated in a human chain organised by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, as part of his Jal Hariyali mission, in January. That included Shakti Yadav, the MLA from Nalanda district, who is known to be close to the Lalu family. 

With elections likely to be held at the end of this year, the RJD also appears to have realised the danger of being labelled an MY (Muslim Yadav) party. The party has begun to discuss ways to dispel this notion as Muslims and Yadavs constitute just 30 per cent of Bihar’s population.

At a recent meeting of newly nominated party bearers, Tejashwi said that RJD was not just an MY party but an A to Z party that respects all sections of society. 

Also read: How Bihar CM Nitish kept in touch with Rahul, Lalu for months after forming govt with BJP




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