RJD authorises Lalu to select nominees for RS polls; Tejashwi skips parliamentary board meeting

The Rashtriya Janata Dal ( RJD) central parliamentary board on Tuesday authorised ailing party chief Lalu Prasad to select the nominees of Rajya Sabha polls on June 10 even though an internal rift within the party was visible with the leader of the opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav skipping the party’s apex body meeting in the evening.
RJD MP Misa Bharti arrives at RJD office, in Patna on Tuesday. (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
RJD MP Misa Bharti arrives at RJD office, in Patna on Tuesday. (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
Published on May 17, 2022 10:20 PM IST
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PATNA: The Rashtriya Janata Dal ( RJD) central parliamentary board on Tuesday authorised ailing party chief Lalu Prasad to select the nominees of Rajya Sabha polls on June 10 even though an internal rift within the party was visible with the leader of the opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav skipping the party’s apex body meeting in the evening.

The absence of Tejashwi in the state and central parliamentary board meetings, attended by top party leaders, including former chief minister Rabri Devi, elder brother, and Hassanpur MLA Tej Pratap Yadav and Rajya Sabha MP, Misa Bharti, triggered speculations that all is not well within the RJD’s first family.

The ailing RJD chief is in New Delhi and is staying at his elder daughter Bharti’s residence where he is undergoing treatment after being discharged from AIIMS after he was granted bail a few weeks back.

Incidentally, there was a bit of drama during the state parliamentary board meeting at the state party office when state president Jagdanand Singh left the meeting midway stating that he was going to bring Tejashwi. “ I am going to bring Tejashwi in the meeting,” he told reporters. He was also holding two envelopes in his hand. But, eventually, the opposition leader did not come.

“ Tejashwi’s absence from the meeting where other family members and RJD top leaders were present speaks volumes that there is some tension within the family,” said a senior party leader. There have been reports of friction between Tejashwi and his elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav with the latter apparently keen on getting more clout in organizational matters in the party. In last few years, Tejashwi has been considered as an heir to RJD chief Lalu Prasad.

Meanwhile, party leaders downplayed the opposition leader’s absence from the central parliamentary board meeting claiming Tejashwi was busy in a meeting at the state assembly. “Tejashwi could not come to the meeting as he had to attend a meeting in the state assembly,” said Chittranjan Gagan, state spokesperson.

Earlier in the day, the opposition leader after returning from New Delhi in the afternoon said Lalu Prasad would select the nominees for RS polls. “ Our party president would take a final decision on the nominees. The party will also discuss the matter at the state and central parliamentary board meeting today in the evening,” Yadav said while talking to newsmen at Patna airport.

The Yadav scion, however, shied away from making any comment on whether RJD would be sending sitting Rajya Sabha MP of the party Misa Bharti for a second term to the upper house of Parliament. Misa is the eldest sister of Tejashwi and had contested the Patliputra parliamentary seat twice in 2014 and 2019.

“I cannot comment on it. The party will be deciding on the candidates and the party’s president would take a call,” he said.

The RJD expects to win two seats out of five seats from Bihar in the upper house of Parliament, which is falling vacant on July 7 after the expiry of the term of the outgoing MPs. In the rest of the three seats, the ruling BJP is expected to put two candidates while one seat could go to the ruling JD(U), sources said. The nomination process for the polls would start on 24 May and the last date of withdrawal of nomination papers is June 3rd.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    A journalist for 21 years, Anirban covers RJD, legislature and government beats. Has extensive experience in covering elections and writes regularly on finance, land reforms, registration, excise and socio-economic issues.

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