In a show of strength to dispel rumours of a rift between them, RJD strongman Lalu Prasad Yadav’s two sons – Tej Pratap and Tejashwi Yadav – addressed a public meeting together on the party’s foundation day and lashed out at the BJP-JD(U) alliance. Tejashwi even asked party workers to be on their toes and prepare for both Lok Sabha and Bihar assembly elections as BJP might dump the Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) ahead of the 2019 polls.
“There is a possibility that BJP may dump ‘chacha’ Nitish Kumar before the 2019 elections and the Lok Sabha and Bihar assembly polls may take place at the same time. So, be prepared,” the former deputy CM told party workers at the RJD’s 22nd foundation day.
Tejashwi, who has categorically maintained that the door was closed for Nitish Kumar’s return to the Grand Alliance, said some people were trying to create a narrative that RJD and Congress would not be able to defeat BJP in the 2019 elections without JD(U)’s support. “Some people are trying to create a narrative here that BJP will not be defeated till JD(U) comes back in Mahagatbandhan. They (BJP-JDU) recently lost a number of bypolls in Bihar, so what happened then,” the RJD scion asked.
Recently, there has been talks of JD(U)’s growing proximity with the RJD after Nitish’s courtesy call to RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who was operated for fistula in Mumbai. However, JD(U) has maintained that it should not be seen through a political prism. Moreover, JD(U) has maintained that it expected BJP to give it a “respectable number of seats” to contest during the 2019 elections and Nitish Kumar be made the face of the NDA in Bihar.
If Tejashwi’s address was focused on attacking the BJP-JD(U) combine, Tej Pratap sought to clear speculation of bad blood between the brothers. To prove that all was well between them, former Bihar health minister Tej Pratap presented Tejashwi with a crown, signalling he had no qualms in his younger brother taking over the mantle of the RJD.
“Tejashwi has to move ahead and take the party forward. The people who are feeling jealous, let them be so. My blessings are always with Tejashwi. Some people are trying to create a rift between us,” he said.