RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Thursday gave preference to his 20-year-old son over his other children as his likely political successor, and said Tejaswi had to get married before contesting an election.
The former Bihar chief minister has seven daughters and two sons. The eldest of them, Misa (named after the acronym of the Maintenance of Internal Security Act), was born during the emergency (1975-77), when Lalu, then a follower of Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan, was in jail.
Heir-apparent Tejaswi was born in 1990, the year his father became chief minister of the state. He has represented Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League.
The move comes at a time when some of Lalu’s closest associates such as Sadhu Yadav and Subhash Yadav, who are also the former Bihar CM’s relatives, have left the RJD.
“Tejaswi is here to be trained in the art of politics, which takes time. I am sure he will do well,” Lalu told the media.
“I will get him married first. After that he can contest elections,” Lalu said.
Under the Indian Constitution, one has to be 25 to be an MLA or a Lok Sabha MP. For the Rajya Sabha, the minimum age is 35.
“The nuances of politics have to be learnt. It’s just like any other job. He will campaign
on my behalf, saying ‘Papa ko vote do’ (vote for my father),” Lalu said in a jocular tone, adding “my son does not need any launch. He is a part and parcel of the well-knit RJD
Lalu described the event as “timely and appropriate”, adding that his other children might join the election campaign he and his wife, Rabri Devi, had started. He did not rule out the participation of his elder son, Tej Pratap (24).
Tejaswi, wearing a plain shirt and jeans, was forceful in his comment.
“My father is an articulate and famous man. The world hears him. But in one thing
he fails. He does not allow
others to have a say,” he said smilingly.
The crowd laughed.