West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee handed double congratulations to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav on Friday. The first was for the wedding of his son Tej Pratap Yadav and the second for the six-week bail he got.
“Heartiest congratulations @laluprasadrjd Lalu Ji on the happy occasion of the marriage of your son. Also happy too that you got bail. Best wishes to your family,” the 63-year-old Trinamool Congress chief wrote on Twitter.
The West Bengal CM has been angling for a federal front comprising non-BJP and non-Congress parties to take on the NDA in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Tej Pratap, Lalu’s older son and former health minister of Bihar during the Mahagathbandhan days, will be tying the knot with senior RJD leader Chandrika Rai’s daughter Aishwarya Rai on 12 May. Their engagement ceremony was held last month.
On Friday, the Jharkhand High Court granted Lalu six weeks’ provisional bail for medical treatment. The RJD supremo has been serving time in the Birsa Munda jail since 23 December 2017, after his conviction in a fodder scam case. He has been convicted in four fodder scam cases since 2013 – the latest being the Dumka treasury case in which a special Central Bureau of Investigation court sentenced him to a 14-year jail term.
He was admitted to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) on 17 March following complaints of uneasiness. He was brought to RIMS from AIIMS on 1 May and is currently in Patna on three days’ parole to attend Tej Pratap’s marriage.
Who’s Who at the Shaadi
Among those who are likely to attend the high-profile marriage ceremony are Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal(United) leader Nitish Kumar, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Vadra. Sonia Gandhi, too, might attend the function.
Prasad’s eldest daughter and Rajya Sabha member Misa Bharti had said the invitation had been sent out even to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Reports say that around 10,000 people have been invited to the marriage.
Nitish and Lalu were close friends since the 1970s. After a period of acrimony, the two came together to form the ‘Grand Alliance’ against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bihar. Then in 2017, Kumar broke the alliance and joined hands with the BJP to form the government. The RJD and JD(U) have been at loggerheads since.