Sibling rivalry brews in RJD’s first family as Tej asserts to carve out his own space
RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s elder son, Tej Pratap Yadav, is becoming more assertive to carve his independent political space and show himself up as a leader enjoying a stature parallel to his younger brother, Tejashwi.india Updated: Sep 23, 2017 20:39 IST
PATNA Amid growing trouble for RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his younger son Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, who have been named in an FIR and are facing CBI summons in a corruption case dating back to Prasad’s tenure as railways minister (2004-09), the RJD first family has new worries on the home front.
There are indications that sibling rivalry is brewing in the RJD chief’s family, with Prasad’s elder son, Tej Pratap Yadav, becoming more assertive to carve his independent political space to show himself up as a leader enjoying a stature parallel to his younger brother.
This has become all too apparent in recent times with Tej Pratap not shying from giving public speeches, as he did during the RJD’s August 27 rally at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan where he spoke with rustic witticism, in a style reminiscent of his father.
He was at it again at Bhagalpur, in south eastern Bihar, earlier this month, when he took the mike to announce that RJD would go the whole hog to expose the multi crore Srijan scam, in which money from government accounts was fraudulently transferred to the accounts of an NGO, Srijan..
RJD insiders feel the elder Yadav scion’s public appearances having more of a comic element than his brother Tejashwi, what with his bid to blow a onch shell at an RJD rally and copying his father’s distinct style of communicating with the masses.
Tej’s assertion has become a problem for Lalu who has namedTejashwi as his political successor and can ill afford any trouble between his children at a time when he and Tejashwi are facing CBI interrogation in a case of transfer of valuable land in Patna to family members allegedly in lieu of leasing out two railways hotels to a private party in 2006.
It is another matter that Tej has received much applause in his brief speeches owing to his penchant for ‘straight’ talk.
If sources are to be believed, Tej has not been happy with his parents’ decision to project Tejashwi as Prasad’s heir apparent.
Last year, Tej had raised eyebrows when he said he would not mind if his younger brother got married first because of the latter’s popularity among girls and his haloed status as deputy CM.The comment was seen as an early sign of sibling rivalry.
“Tej was denied the limelight which is brother has got in his short career. Now, he, too, wants to come to the forefront and position himself as a leader of reckoning,” said a senior RJD leader, pointing out how the elder Yadav scion had pushed his own outfit called DSS (Dharamanirpeksh Sewak Sangh), parallel to the RSS.
What has come as an obstacle for Tej’s upward climb in the party is his rather shy nature and being less articulate as compared to his younger brother, who in his tenure as deputy chief minister and leader of opposition, has succeeded in silencing critics about his speech making capability.
There are also reports of Prasad’s elder daughter and party’s Rajya Sabha MP Misa Bharti nursing the ambition of getting a bigger say in the party though she has faced quite a setback after her name cropped in money laundering cases with the ED and the IT department issuing summons to her and her husband Shailesh Kumar.
RJD leaders feel Prasad has a daunting task ahead in trying to douse the flames of sibling rivalry in his family in days to come. Though it is not clear as whether Tej would be given any new responsibility in the party, the Mahua MLA is surely eying for a top slot.
The only relief for the RJD chief is that his two sons have not showed any acrimony in public and together undertook a tour to drum up support for the RJD’s rally last month.