Patna: Tej Pratap Yadav, the maverick elder son of Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi, has a knack for ensuring that his actions are the talk of the town in Bihar’s political circles.
This is perhaps one of the reasons why Tej Pratap courted controversy with his actions during the Iftaar party hosted by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) at Patna’s 10 Circular Road, the official residence of party leader Rabri Devi.
Yadav (34) allegedly slapped RJD leader Anil Samrat Yadav before having him thrown out of 10 Circular Road during the Iftaar party Friday evening. Anil Samrat Yadav had unsuccessfully contested the Bihar MLC polls this year from Ara seat.
RJD spokesperson Mritunjay Tiwari has denied that such an incident took place Friday evening. “I was at the Iftaar party and I have no knowledge of such an incident happening,” he said.
However, what comes to mind is a similar incident from 2017 when RJD worker Sanoj Yadav had accused Tej Pratap of assault.
Asked about Tej Pratap Yadav’s equation with party leaders, one RJD MLA told ThePrint, “He [Tej Pratap] did not even spare a senior leader like Jagdanand Singh and called him a BJP agent”.
‘Secret talks with Nitish’
After the Iftaar party, Tej Pratap Yadav claimed that he held “secret talks” with Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to revive the RJD-JD(U) grand alliance.
Asked to comment on Tej Pratap’s remarks, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told reporters, “It has been a tradition that leaders of rival parties attend Iftaar parties. I was invited and I went. There is no politics.”
Kumar was among political leaders who attended the Iftaar party Friday evening.
Tej Pratap even claimed that he had to remove the “no-entry board” in order to invite chacha (uncle) Nitish Kumar to the gathering.
But Tej Pratap’s claims have not gone down well with many, including some in his own party.
One RJD leader told ThePrint on condition of anonymity, “CM Nitish Kumar was at the Iftaar party for half an hour. He was sitting with Tejashwi and Tej Pratap and other family members. Even BJP minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain was sitting near the Bihar CM.
“There was no private conversation between Nitish Kumar and Tej Pratap and if Nitish Kumar wants to switch over Tej Pratap will be the last man he will talk to.”
Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly, Tej Pratap’s younger brother Tejashwi Yadav has emerged as the face of the RJD in recent years.
Lalu Prasad had in 2017 picked younger son Tejashwi to be his successor. A muffled Tej Pratap has since been the cause of embarrassments for his family and the party.
“Lalu ji has to tolerate him because he is a son, but like us, Lalu ji does not succumb to the political demands of Tej Pratap. We also do the same,” remarked a senior RJD leader.
(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)