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Misa Bharti confirms rift between brothers Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap, alleges ‘backstabbing’

An apparently disgruntled Misa Bharti also alleged that there were some forces within her family which were trying to stab her in the back.

india Updated: Oct 09, 2018 10:15 IST
Hindustan Times, Patna
Misa Bharti,Tejashwi,Tej Pratap
The rift among Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad’s children was confirmed on Monday when Misa Bharti, his eldest daughter, admitted that relations between her two brothers - Tej Pratap and Tejashwi. (PTI File Photo)

The rift among Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad’s children was confirmed on Monday when Misa Bharti, his eldest daughter, admitted that relations between her two brothers - Tej Pratap and Tejashwi - had soured of late while there were some forces in the family that were trying to “stab her in the back”.

Addressing party workers at Maner, she said: “Why talk about others when there are explicit differences among brothers in my own family.” She however quickly added that minor differences exist in every family as all fingers were not the same.

An apparently disgruntled Misa Bharti also alleged that there were some forces within her family which were trying to stab her in the back. “I am a woman. If the enemy musters courage and wages a war face-to-face, I can become a Rani Laxmibai and fight back. But I cannot tolerate someone, whether a worker or a leader, backstabbing me,” she said.

In her unequivocal style, the doctor-turned-politician said that the RJD is a big family and it has no dearth of votes but what’s concerning is the breached unity of her family.

Tejashwi Yadav sidestepped questions from journalists on his sister’s public revelations. “I did not hear what she said,” he said.

The absence of Lalu Prasad following his conviction and sentencing in the multiple cases of fodder scam has led to sibling rivalry flaring up between his children, with the chasm only widening by the day. The anointment of younger son Tejashwi as the heir apparent had not gone down well with his elder brother, Tej Pratap and eldest sister, Misa.

The internal wrangling got further unequivocal after Tej Pratap’s wedding. Both brothers started distancing themselves from political decisions taken by each other and on certain occasions, the elder one expressed his frustration in public, complaining how he was not being involved in party decisions and not getting the support of party workers and leaders in his programme.

Misa Bharti, a Rajya Sabha MP, has also displayed political ambitions for her as well as her husband. A couple of weeks back, she threw her hat into the ring by staking her claim for the Patliputra seat, which she had lost to party loyalist-turned-rebel, Ram Kripal Yadav, in the 2014 general elections.

Her claim before the media had surprised many within her family and in the party as RJD is a part of the Grand Alliance and decisions on seat sharing and selecting candidates are generally taken collectively by alliance leaders after the seat-sharing deal is sealed.

Misa Bharti, has, however, remained unfazed and kept exhibiting her claims and complaints publicly.

With both parliamentary and assembly polls approaching, her announcements may trigger a power struggle within the family besides casting far-reaching implications on the party’s poll prospects if these issues were not settled at the earliest. The airing of the discontent within the family has already given rivals an opportunity to attack the RJD and its dynastic politics.

BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said Misa Bharti’s acceptance of dispute is no surprise. “RJD believes in family based politics, which is boomeranging now. Family conflict will destroy the party soon,” he said.

Bihar Congress president Madan Mohan Jha played safe saying that it was an internal family issue and that it should be resolved by them. “But I have seen both brothers attending programmes together and sharing a strong bond,” he said. The Congress is part of the RJD-led Grand Alliance in Bihar.

Political analyst DM Diwakar finds nothing unusual happening in the RJD’s first family, saying it was was the outcome of the opportunistic parliamentary politics sweeping across parties in India, where the focus of emerging leaders is on family rather than people’s legacy. “Today, leaders across parties are introducing their children as their heirs apparent. Public issues have taken backstage. Politics of ideology has disappeared and incompetent people have taken the centre-stage,” he said.

First Published: Oct 08, 2018 22:03 IST