Even as the RJD feels utterly depressed after jailing of Lalu Prasad in the fodder scam and the issue of seat sharing still to be resolved in the crowded-looking Grand Alliance, former health minister Tej Pratap Yadav has emerged as another big headache for the party leadership ahead of upcoming LS polls.
Many believe if he is not “tamed” soon, the RJD is bound to face serious consequences for his “boastfulness and unpolished language” that he uses in public. But, the million dollar question now is who will “bell the cat” given the fact that the man in question happens to be none other than the elder son of RJD chief Prasad!
For the past about a fortnight, Tej Pratap has been constantly holding “Junta Durbars” in the party office in Patna to listen to the woes of the masses but that is not the problem. The problem is that he has been shooting from his mouth someone almost everyday or issuing statements which go against the principles of the party or coalition dharma.
This has caused unease in the party leadership much to the glee of the ruling NDA. The top party leadership was left visibly embarrassed once again when he suddenly kicked up poll campaign for his eldest sister Misa Bharti from the Patliputra LS seat in Patna yesterday while the seats are yet to be distributed among allies.
The masses were left utterly surprised when Lalu’s son with the elephants, horses and music bands in tow reached them with folded hands on Thursday and sought votes for his sister although the dates of elections are yet to be announced. As such, Tej Pratap reacted with his “wildcat poll campaign” shortly after RJD’s chief spokesperson Bhai Birendra expressed his wish to contest from the Patliputra LS seat.
He added he is a disciplined party soldier and would do only after being authorised by the party, and not on his own. But his expression of wish irked Tej Pratap so much so that he not showed his party spokesperson in poor light but also launched poll campaign for his sister.
With the overall issue blowing into a major controversy, Prasad’s younger son Tejahswi Yadav eventually had to intervene. Tejashwi who is said to be the “political heir” of his father dismissed the claim of his elder brother stating that the issue of seat-sharing is yet to be resolved and also who will contest from where will be ultimately decided by the party’s parliamentary board.
The RJD faced another embarrassing situation last week when Tej Pratap again announced to welcome muscle-flexing lawmaker Anant Singh into the party saying anyone willing to defeat the NDA is most welcome. He gave these statements in the media shortly after Singh who has dozens of criminal cases pending against him sang paeans RJD chief Prasad, describing him as his “favourite” politician. Tej Pratap’s statement was very soon disapproved by his younger brother. “There is no place for bad elements like Anant Singh in the RJD or the Grand Alliance. His ideology doesn’t match with that of Grand Alliance,” Tejashwi clarified but damage had been done by then.
A couple of days back, Tej Pratap caused another problem for the party when he asked a shelter-less woman to stay in the premises of the party office with her family. This happened shortly after the woman whose house was removed by the district administration under the ongoing anti-encroachment drive attended his junta durbar and sought for his help. “RJD garibon ki party hai. Ham help nahin karenge to kaun karega?” was how Tej Pratap told the media while asking the women to stay in the party office.
They are not the lone worry for the party. He has already filed divorce petition in the local court against his wife Aishwarya Rai of six months. He has refused to withdraw his petition despite repeated requests by his parents Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi.
The overall tension prevailing in the family over the issue is underlined from the fact that Tej Pratap has not visited his home in Patna since he filed the divorce petition in November last year.
Either he stays in the house of his friends/hotels in Patna or has been travelling to Mathura or Vrindavan to pass time. He is said to be an ardent follower of Lord Krishna and loves to wear long sandal marks on his forehead all the time or play flutes.