Lok Sabha elections 2019: ‘2 days to decide on my 2 candidates,’ says Tej Pratap in ultimatum to RJD
Continuing his aggressive posturing, RJD chief Lalu Prasad’ elder son and Mahua MLA Tej Pratap Yadav on Tuesday issued a deadline of two days to his younger brother and opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav to take a call on accommodating his two candidates from Sheohar and Jehanabad asserting he would otherwise chart his own independent course.
Tej Pratap’s so-called ultimatum to his brother comes a day after the elder Yadav scion had announced to contest as an independent from Saran parliamentary seat and also named four of his candidates, including Angesh Kumar and Chandraprakash Yadav, from Sheohar and Jehanabad seats as against official RJD nominees, by floating a new organisation called ‘Lalu-Rabri Morcha’.
“I have told my brother to take a decision within next two days on whether he would make my two candidates the party’s nominee from Sheohar and Jehanabad. After the deadline, I will take my own decision. My brother has assured me he would talk on the matter,” he said, while speaking to a leading Hindi news channel News18 Bihar-Jharkhand.
The Mahua MLA, having embarrassed his family and party, denied the growing perception that he had turned a rebel in his own party emphasising that he had launched ‘Lalu-Rabri Morcha( front)’ just to save his own family from falling apart and save the RJD from infighting. He also showed posters of the new front having pictures of himslef, Rabri,Lalu, Misa and Tejashwi.
“I am not a rebel. I have launched the front as I want unity in the RJD and take the party ahead. There are mischievous elements in the party, who have created misunderstanding among family members and also trying to weaken the RJD. I will not let it happen,” he said.
But,insiders in the party, said the elder Yadav scion was throwing tantrums only to put pressure on the party to accommodate two of his candidates as well as increase his own clout in the party, where his younger sibling Tejashwi now holds the unofficial number two position after RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
Tej Pratap is also peeved at the RJD’s decision to give his father-in-law and MLA, Chandrika Rai, a ticket from Saran seat, the reason why he has announced contesting from the seat as an independent.
“Saran seat is a traditional seat of my family. I want my mother Rabri Devi to contest from there. I will go and campaign for her. Let the party decide in next two days,” he said, today.
Tej Pratap’s choice of another candidate from Bettiah ( West Champaran seat) is Rajan Tiwary, a strongman turned politician. Tiwary said he was always in talks with the Mahua MLA but was trying for a ticket from the Bahujan Samaj Party( BSP).
Incidentally, the Mahua MLA also candidly expressed that he had announced his own candidates and launched ‘Lalu-Rabri Morcha’ yesterday by holding a presser because he had not got any response from his parents and brother on the demand for allotment of tickets to his close aides, implying how his relations with his brother and parents have strained in past few months.
“There are times, when I fail to talk to my mother. There are people who do not connect me to her,” he said
On the other hand, the RJD top leaders, including opposition leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, continued to play evasive on the issue. “The coming lok sabha polls is not an election of internal family matters. It is an election of the country and to save constitution. This is also an election to seek justice for the RJD chief,” Tejashwi had said yesterday.
Tejashwi did not attend a presser at the state party office in the morning stoking speculations that the young leader gave the event a miss just to escape uncomfortable questions on his brother’s ‘rebellion’.
State RJD president Ram Chandra Purbe also tried to downplay Tej Pratap’s bid to launch a new front within a party and parried queries on whether action will be taken against him for rebellious posturing. “I will talk with Tej Pratap, Tejashwi and Rabri Devi and take a decision on it,” he said.
Bhola Yadav, close aide of RJD chief and senior party MLA, said the Tej Pratap episode was an ‘internal matter’ of the family and media should not give it any colour.