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Lok Sabha elections 2019: Tej joins Tejashwi on poll trail, repeats Krishna-Arjun equation

On Sunday, both of them directed all their ire against Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, particularly in his home district Nalanda, alleging that he was engaged in targeting Lalu and his family for justifying his political flip-flop.

lok sabha elections Updated: May 13, 2019 08:34 IST
Anil Kumar
Anil Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Lok Sabha,elections,2019
After refusing to listen to mother Rabri Devi’s counsel for almost a month, Tej Pratap not only rode the same helicopter with his brother, but also made it a point to drive home the point that all is well in the family.(HT Photo)

Signalling a thaw in the ongoing sibling rivalry between two brothers in Rashtriya Janata Dal’s first family, Tej Pratap Yadav joined Tejeshwi Prasad Yadav on Sunday to address public meetings for Grand Alliance candidates in Ara, Nalanda, and Patliputra Lok Sabha constituencies. All of these go to polls in the last phase, on May 19.

This is the first time that Tej Pratap, apparently upset with the party leadership over the non-inclusion of his choice candidates in Sheohar and Jehanabad, has accompanied younger brother Tejashwi for joint campaigning after avoiding two such previous occasions.

With voting in eight Lok Sabha seats in Bihar still to take place, the brothers’ coming together is being viewed as a ‘damage control’ exercise against the charge of detractors that the rivalry between Lalu’s sons would only accelerate the process of RJD’s disintegration in the absence of the family patriarch. Lalu is incarcerated, and several of his bail pleas have been turned down.

After refusing to listen to mother Rabri Devi’s counsel for almost a month, Tej Pratap not only rode the same helicopter with his brother, but also made it a point to drive home the point that all is well in the family.

At the Jagdishpur public meeting, Tej Pratap told the gathering that the two brothers were like Krishna and Arjun. Once the crowd shot back that they were like the inseparable movie characters ‘Karan-Arjun’, Tej Pratap stood firm to reiterate their relationship as that of Krishna-Arjun. “I share Krishna’s lineage. Tejashwi is my Arjun. He is my only hero,” he said.

In the past, Tej Pratap took the same stand, positioning Tejashwi as Arjun and himself as Krishna, who as the charioteer, would usher his brother to his ‘destination’ (chief minister’s chair) in 2020. In the run-up to the LS polls, however, Tej Pratap not only floated the Lalu-Rabri Morcha, but also described Tejashwi as Duryodhan surrounded by ‘chaatukaars’ (yes men).

On Sunday, both of them directed all their ire against Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, particularly in his home district Nalanda, alleging that he was engaged in targeting Lalu and his family for justifying his political flip-flop.

Tej Pratap’s banner of revolt had left him isolated in the party circles, and though he continues to support his choice candidate Chandra Prakash in Jehanabad against the official candidate Surendra Yadav, the nomination papers of his other candidate for Sheohar, Angesh Singh, got rejected.

Recently, Tej Pratap had a feel of the mood in the party when he had to witness sloganeering against him in the presence of his mother at an election meeting in the Patliputra constituency where he was present to support sister Misa Bharti’s candidature.

His younger brother and Bihar’s leader of the opposition Tejashwi shielded his elder sibling from media queries regarding the change of heart, after the month-long rebellion, saying “there was no such thing as was being made out in a section of the media. There is no remedy for doubt.”

Tej Pratap, on his part, said, “There is no difference between us. We are one. No force on earth can separate us.”

First Published: May 13, 2019 00:59 IST

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