Lalu’s feuding sons rock RJD’s 2019 mission

The Asian Age.  | nayear azad

India, All India

Sister Misa goes public on friction, backtracks following repercussions in family.

Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav with their mother Rabri Devi.

Patna: While other political parties are busy resolving the thorny seat sharing issue for 2019 general elections, the RJD seems to be facing a leadership crisis in Bihar.

Misa Bharti the eldest daughter of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav recently created a flutter in political circles by hinting that all is not well in the family.

It was a shock for the entire Yadav clan when she publicly acknowledged that differences are brewing between her two brothers — Tej Pratap and Tejashwi Yadav.

“Differences of opinion in big families are common these days. All fingers are not equal even there is a rift between my two brothers but RJD is a larger family”, Misa Bharti said while addressing her party workers last Sunday in Maner near Patna.

However, a day after Misa Bharti created a controversy with her comments Tej Pratap Yadav clarified that “there is no rift anywhere. There are few who have been trying to create differences between us but they will never succeed”.

Misa Bharti also later backtracked from her statement saying, “my statement was twisted”.

A week before Misa Bharti sparked the controversy both her brothers had met Lalu Yadav in Ranchi where they were asked to keep their personal grievances aside and focus on strengthening party before 2019 general elections.

RJD chief Lalu Yadav, serving a jail term in fodder scam cases, is currently being treated at a Ranchi hospital.

Sources said that fresh speculation of a rift between Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav has confused party workers.

Misa Bharti’s statement also gave fuel to the BJP which said that the rift within Lalu Yadav’s family will sink the RJD.

“This conflict in the family and organisation will, in turn, sabotage the RJD’s hope in run up to 2019 parliamentary elections. The RJD is not a political party in the true sense but a conglomeration of casteism, religious appeasement and family interest group,” BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said.

Tej Pratap Yadav on a number of occasions earlier had expressed his displeasure over being ignored in the party. In a social media post in July, he  blamed his mother Rabri Devi for ignoring his complaints about party insiders  spreading rumours about him.

In the message, he had claimed that “few leaders of my party are trying to malign my political image. I know how to crush these people but my father and mother are not ready to listen to me. It’s getting tough for me to do politics”.

Sources said that the social media post was later deleted after family members and some senior party leaders intervened.

In June he had created a buzz with a tweet signalling “retirement from politics”. He had used references from Mahabharata and said that he wishes to hand over the throne to Arjun (Tejashwi Yadav) and leave for Dwarka.

The reason, he said, was that few RJD leaders who were worried that he may emerge as a kingmaker in Bihar like his father.

Sources said that differences between both the brothers have been brewing ever since Lalu Yadav handed over the reins of the RJD to his younger son Tejashwi Yadav after he was convicted in fodder scam cases.

Political analysts are of the opinion that Tej Pratap Yadav’s earlier social media posts may be a reflection of his “desperation” of not being taken seriously by party seniors over and above the ambitions of Tejashwi Yadav.