Mahua MLA Tej Pratap Yadav may have avoided the media ever since he became the health minister of Bihar last November, but that needn’t mean he’s camera shy.
Yadav, the eldest son of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad, is debuting in a Bhojpuri film called Apaharan Udyog (Kidnapping Industry) that reportedly has him playing the role of a chief minister intent on ending abductions in the state.
Ironically, it was during the RJD’s 15-year rule from 1990 to early-2000 that the state gained notoriety for abductions, inspiring many Bollywood movies such as Prakash Jha’s Apaharan.
Yadav admits to being “very excited” about the new Bhojpuri film, which has aroused a lot of curiosity. “Yes, I am acting in it. It’s good,” he confirmed to HT.
The 27-year-old minister faced the camera for the first time at picturesque Rajgir, a tourist spot located in chief minister Nitish Kumar’s home district of Nalanda.
The scene starts with a horde of villagers angrily discussing the kidnapping of a young boy, demanding that the police take action soon. But that’s when Yadav’s character makes an appearance to pacify the crowd. “The victim will be recovered soon… kidnappings in Bihar will not be tolerated. It is a conspiracy to defame the government,” he thunders.
An actual chief minister couldn’t have said it better.
Sources said the film crew was impressed by Yadav’s dialogue delivery, some even hailing him as “real-life CM material”.
Incidentally, the public domain doesn’t seem to have a lot of information on the promoters of the film – which has a cast comprising Bhojpuri singer Chotu Chaliya, Virendra Kumar, Kisan Choudhary and Diksha Choudhary. The minister’s aides, however, say it is likely to hit the screens later this year.
“It might take a few months before the film is completed. Not much is known about it,” said a senior RJD leader close to the minister.
The opposition BJP, understandably, didn’t seem impressed by Yadav’s acting debut. “It looks like Tej Pratap – having failed to become a CM in real life – is fulfilling his dreams in reel life. The minister should focus on his department instead of doing frivolous things,” quipped party leader Sushil Kumar Modi.
The BJP has been criticising the health minister over non-attendance of house sessions ever since the Grand Alliance came to power.
This, however, is not the first time somebody from the RJD’s top family has made a silver screen appearance. The RJD supremo himself made a guest appearance in a 2005 Bollywood movie called Padmashree Laloo Prasad Yadav, starring actors Suneil Shetty, Mahesh Manjrekar, Johnny Lever and Kim Sharma. He is also said to have acted in a few Bhojpuri movies, though they did not achieve commercial success.
But how far will the Mahua MLA make it in the world of cinema? “We are confident that Tej Pratap’s film will be well-appreciated. He is a sharp individual who works sincerely,” said Astik Sharma, an RJD leader said to be close to Yadav.