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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

As Tej Pratap seeks tickets for loyalists, RJD tries to avoid repeat of rebellion

Tejashwi Yadav is trying to avoid a repeat of the Lok Sabha poll drama of 2019 when his brother rebelled and fielded his own candidates as Independents from three Lok Sabha seats.

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna | Updated: August 31, 2020 8:12:55 am
Tejashwi Yadav met brother Tej Pratap on Saturday. (File)

Tej Pratap Yadav, the elder son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, is learnt to have demanded Assembly election tickets for four of his loyalists—an attempt to chisel out a more prominent space for himself within the party a year after his rebellion.

Tej Pratap recently visited Ranchi to meet the RJD chief, currently in jail, to put forward the demand. The former health minister is said to be weighing a contest from Hasanpur (Samastipur) if his estranged wife Aishwarya Rai contests from Mahua (Vaishali), which he represents.

Now, Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav is trying to avoid a repeat of the Lok Sabha poll drama of 2019 when his brother rebelled and fielded his own candidates as Independents from three Lok Sabha seats.

It is unclear what transpired in the conversation between Tej Pratap and Lalu. What is known, however, is that Tejashwi visited his brother’s residence in Patna on Saturday night for dinner.

The names mooted by Tej Pratap are that of Angesh Singh (Sheohar), Chandra Prakash (Jehanabad), Dr Sandeep Kar (Karakat) and Dharmendra Kumar (Harnaut). There is no word from the party on whether they will be given tickets.

An RJD source said: “Most senior party leaders want just one power centre and have been rallying behind Tejashwi. Several senior leaders could be upset if their candidates cannot be accommodated… But the party does not want to turn Tej a rebel.”

On Tej Pratap’s plans to contest from Hasanpur, this source said: “He probably does not want a situation of any rival party fielding his estranged wife Aishwarya Rai against him.” Tej’s father-in-law Chandrika Rai, a former minister, recently joined JD(U).

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