Tired of lugging around drinks for the Delhi Daredevils (DD) and failing to make it to the team's playing eleven for four Twenty20 championship seasons, former railway minister Lalu Prasad's son, Tejashwi, has finally bid adieu to cricket and taken a plunge into politics.
Tejashwi, 24, is set to take off on a state-wide 'yuva jan samartan yatra' beginning April 20 “to link up with the youth and take my party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), where it has never been before”.
The severing of his contract with Delhi Daredevils after four seasons and giving up on it, he told HT, was a terrible disappointment “for someone who had earlier captained Delhi’s under-15 and under-17 teams”.
“But I wasn’t getting anywhere with DD as it had two more prominent players in Virendra Sehwag and Tilakratne Dilshan doing what I do, bat middle order and bowl off spin”, Tejashwi said.
Younger of Lalu Prasad’s two sons and his political heir apparent, Tejashwi’s first outings in politics were his brief appearances by his father’s side during the 2009 Lok Sabha poll and the 2010 Bihar assembly election.
“But now its full time politics for me”, he said.
For someone whose father was once quoted as saying, “Yeh IT-YT kya hota hai", it’s ironical that Tejashwi wants to exactly that: make the RJD IT savvy and use the social media for its image makeover.
One of the first items on his agenda is to open an RJD call centre with a toll free number for the youth to register their problems and interact with Tejashwi directly.
“I will do whatever I can to reverse the negative perception created by the media about misgovernance during the chief ministerial tenures of my parents, Lalu Prasad (1990-97) and Rabri Devi (1997-2005)”, he said.
Tejashwi believes time and tide have already changed his parents.
“You can see it in my father’s body language. My mother, too, has come a long way since she took over as chief minister under trying circumstances”, he said.
This was a reference to Lalu Prasad’s resignation as chief minister in July 1997 and succession to the post by Rabri Devi, then a housewife, after the CBI moved to arrest him for his alleged role in the fodder scam.
Tejashwi said he was not perturbed by reports suggesting that his elder brother Tej Pratap, 26, too, had begun to take an active interest in politics.
This has found expression in some RJD leaders putting huge flexes in Patna, to express their allegiance to Pratap.
“I feel I have my brother support, who looked out for me while I was playing cricket”, Tejashwi said.
A commerce graduate from Delhi university, Tejashwi said all the talk about his married eldest sister Misa Bharati wanting to enter politics was “media speculation”.
“But if she really wants to help me out in politics, she is welcome”, said the rising son of the RJD, adding, “please spell my full name correctly. It’s Tejashwi Prasad Yadav”.