Having failed to get the party to field his choice of candidates for Jehanabad and Sheohar Lok Sabha seats, former Bihar minister and RJD leader Tej Pratap Yadav on Saturday announced his support for Independent candidate from Jehanabad, Chandra Prakash Yadav, against the RJD’s official candidate, Surendra Yadav.
Tej Pratap, RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s son, had sought a party ticket from Jehanabad for Chandra Prakash, and for Angesh Singh, another of his supporters, from Sheohar.
Sensing the rebellion, the RJD has not announced candidate for Sheohar.
On Thursday, Tej Pratap quit as patron of the RJD’s students’ wing to express displeasure at the party not considering his nominees for the two seats. He had also supported candidature of his elder sister Misa Bharti from Pataliputra when party’s Maner MLA Bhai Birendra had begun staking claim for the seat.
Pressure tactic of sidelined sibling to assert position in party
Although he does not hold any important position in the RJD, and calls himself a “charioteer” to younger brother Tejashwi, Tej Pratap Yadav wants to assert his position in the party at regular intervals. His demand that the party name two of his nominees for Jehanabad and Sheohar constituencies may be seen in this light. While most Tej Pratap’s decisions, and acts of purported rebellion, have set tongues wagging about rivalry between the siblings, not many actually see him leaving the RJD - at least not in immediate future. The latest move, too, may be his way to put pressure on the party to get his supporter as candidate for Sheohar seat.
After meeting RJD workers from Jehanabad, Tej Pratap on Saturday told the media, “The party’s Jehanabad candidate Surendra Yadav has lost thrice. It simply means people do not like him. I am in favour of a young candidate, a fresh face, and Chandra Prakash can be a good choice. Now that the party has announced its candidate from Jehanabad, I am asking Chandra Prakash to contest as Independent.”
Tej Pratap said he will be present when Chandra Prakash files his nomination on April 24 and campaign for him.
As he asked Chandra Prakash, who runs a BEd college, to be prepared to contest the polls, Prakash’s slogan-shouting supporters hailed Tej Pratap as a “grassroots leader” and said the “one sitting in Patna”, referring to his younger brother Tejashwi Prasad, as not so connected with the people. Click here for more election news
Chandra Prakash said: “We cannot accept an outsider, Surendra Yadav (as candidate). Now that we have got a nod from my leader Tej Pratap Yadav, I will contest as an Independent”. Surendra Yadav comes from Gaya.
Tej Pratap said he is now trying to get the RJD to field his nominee from Sheohar. “I have spoken with Tejashwi about Angesh’s candidature from Sheohar. He has assured me of a decision in two days.”
Angesh, who had also come to meet Tej Pratap with his supporters, said: “I am waiting for Tej Pratap-ji’s nod to contest from Sheohar – whether as party candidate or as Independent. I am hoping to get party ticket.”
BJP expels ex-MP
The BJP suspended its Bihar unit vice-president and former Lok Sabha MP Putul Kumari for filing nomination as an Independent candidate against the NDA’s official candidate from Banka constituency, Giridhari Yadav. The BJP had urged Putul Kumari, widow of former Lok Sabha MP from Banka, Digvijay Singh, to withdraw her nomination.