The rift between Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad’s sons Tej Pratap and Tejashwi escalated on Saturday after the former announced that he would be fielding his own candidate, Chandra Prakash Yadav, in Jahanabad against the RJD.
Tej and Tejashwi have been at loggerhead in the last few days over choice of candidate for Jahanabad and Sheohar Lok Sabha seats. Tej had sought a party ticket from Jehanabad for Chandra Prakash Yadav, and for Angesh Singh, another of his supporters, from Sheohar.
After meeting RJD workers from Jehanabad, Tej told the media, “The party’s Jehanabad candidate Surendra Yadav has lost thrice. It simply means people do not like him. I am in favour of a young candidate, a fresh face, and Chandra Prakash can be a good choice. Now that the party has announced its candidate from Jehanabad, I am asking Chandra Prakash to contest as Independent.”
Tej Pratap said he will be present when Chandra Prakash files his nomination on April 24 and campaign for him.
As he asked Chandra Prakash, who runs a BEd college, to be prepared to contest the polls, Prakash’s slogan-shouting supporters hailed Tej as a “grassroots leader” and said the “one sitting in Patna”, referring to Tejashwi, as not connected with the people.
Sensing the rebellion in the party, Tejaswi has not announced candidate for Sheohar.
On Thursday, Tej quit as patron of the RJD’s students’ wing to express displeasure for not considering his nominees for the two seats.
He had also supported candidature of his elder sister Misa Bharti from Pataliputra when party’s Maner MLA Bhai Birendra had begun staking claim for the seat.
Tej does not hold any important position in the RJD and has been politically sidelined in favour of younger brother Tejashwi. He was trying to find space for himself in the party since Tejashwi has been calling the shots in RJD since Lalu’s conviction in fodder scam cases. The latest move may be his way to assert his position and pressurise his younger brother to take him seriously.
Sources said Tej is also allegedly angry over RJD’s decision to field his estranged father-in-law Chandrika Rai from Saran Lok Sabha seat.