Lalu bats for son Tejashwi as RJD’s CM face in next Bihar polls | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Lalu bats for son Tejashwi as RJD’s CM face in next Bihar polls

Prasad’s comments come three days after RJD’s state president Ram Chandra Purbe declared that Tejashwi would be the chief ministerial face of the party.

india Updated: Nov 10, 2017 21:12 IST
Anirban Guha Roy
RJD president Lalu Prasad with his younger son Tejashwi Yadav.
RJD president Lalu Prasad with his younger son Tejashwi Yadav. (PTI File Photo )

Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad on Friday hinted that his younger son Tejashwi Prasad Yadav would be his successor and the chief ministerial candidate of the party in the next assembly elections in Bihar, an idea he later retracted.

As his statement triggered dissent in the party, Prasad clarified that he had not projected anybody as CM’s candidate.

Earlier, in an interview to a regional TV channel, the former chief minister said that Tejashwi was the youth face of the RJD and had the ability to become the face of the party.

“We are promoting the youth and they should take up the leadership. Tejashwi is an acceptable youth leader of the party and should take key positions. Is there anybody else claiming for the CM’s post in the party?” he asked.

Prasad’s comments come three days after RJD’s state president Ram Chandra Purbe declared that Tejashwi would be the chief ministerial face of the party.

After joining politics in 2014, Tejashwi has been seen as heir apparent of Prasad and his appointment as deputy chief minister in the Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance (GA) government after 2015 assembly elections had validated the perception that the RJD chief was keen on projecting his younger son as number two in the party.

After Nitish Kumar walked out of the GA and formed government with the BJP in July this year, Tejashwi took over as leader of the opposition in the Bihar assembly.

Kumar torpedoed his alliance with the RJD and the Congress after Prasad ruled out resignation of Tejashwi as deputy chief minister in the wake of the CBI filing an FIR against him as an accused in a land-for-hotels case.

“That Tejashwi is going to be the successor of Lalu is a foregone conclusion,” said a senior leader of the party, seeking anonymity.

However, Prasad’s bid to bat for his younger son as his successor brought to fore the dissidence in the party with senior leaders Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Abdul Bari Siddiqui saying that the issue of chief ministerial candidate would be decided by people of the state.

“It is the people of the state who will decide the next chief minister. Has Prasad declared that Tejashwi will be the CM’s face? Only a few leaders are talking about it and it is their personal opinion,” Siddiqui said.

The former minister’s attempt to downplay Tejashwi’s projection as CM face is attributed to Siddiqui’s own ambition as a probable CM face in the party. The former minister has held key positions in the party, including the post of leader of the opposition after 2006.

Raghuvansh, considered one of the veterans of the party, too said the issue of who would be the next CM face of the party was “premature” as elections were still far away.

“Besides, it is the people who will decide the next chief minister,” he said.

Prasad later clarified that he had not announced anybody’s name as the chief ministerial candidate. Elections were far away and there was no fight for the CM’s post among party leaders, he said.

The climbdown by Prasad is seen as an attempt to stem the dissidence over the issue of Tejashwi’s projection for the top post and keep the flock together.

“Is there any fight over CM’s post? The name will be decided by people of the state. These are all baseless issues and we do not need to discuss it at this time when our main objective is to fight the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Prasad said.

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Prasad’s comments come three days after RJD’s state president Ram Chandra Purbe declared that Tejashwi would be the chief ministerial face of the party.