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11 degrees more apart than Salman

- Bouncers shadow Lalu son, party unhappy

Patna, Jan. 27: Rubbing shoulders with Lalu Prasad’s elder son is 11 times more difficult than doing so with superstar Salman Khan.

Salman has just one bouncer, Shera, whereas Tej Pratap moves around with 11 bouncers hired from a private firm. Two of them even carry pistols. The bouncers were seen today, when Tej flagged off the Akliyat Bedari Muhim Rath (minorities awareness campaign rath) with Rabri Devi from her 10 Circular Road residence.

Tej (26) justified his move saying there was a perceived threat to his life. He told The Telegraph: “I had written to the chief minister’s secretariat seeking security but the government did not reply. It’s been over a year and I had sent several reminders. Finally, I decided to hire private bodyguards.”

In terms of political understanding, Lalu has always promoted his younger son, Tejaswi Yadav. When Lalu was being convicted in the fodder scam case, it was Tejaswi who flew to Ranchi with him. Lalu, in fact, allowed Tejaswi to speak on his behalf in front of the media after getting bail from Ranchi Jail. Again, it is Tejaswi who regularly updates Lalu’s Twitter and Facebook accounts while keeping a low profile in the party.

Tej, in contrast, does not hold any post in the RJD and yet hired the bouncers, two of who carry 9mm pistols. “They are trained bouncers and will not allow any stranger to come near me. I have asked them to follow me like my shadow. Why take any chances?” said Tej.

His mother, Rabri Devi, justified the move saying: “Sons and daughters of big people do get security and my son had approached the CM’s secretariat for the same. There is always a threat to both my sons as they keep visiting districts to address public meetings. You have recently seen the security breach that led to blasts at Gandhi Maidan. If anything happens to my son, the Nitish government would be blamed.”

Hiring 11 bouncers will cost around Rs 1.8 lakh a month, the owner of a private security firm said on condition of anonymity. “A bouncer costs Rs 15,000 a month and along with pistols it cost Rs 22,000. In recent days, bouncer culture is picking up in Patna too,” he said.

Asked who will pay the bouncers, Rabri said: “If Tej is campaigning for the party, obviously, the party will pay, not my son.”

Some RJD leaders do not appreciate the idea. “You cannot become a leader unless you allow people, workers and supporters to interact. Laluji has never done anything like this. Hiring bouncers will distance Tej Pratap from his supporters,” said a senior RJD leader on condition of anonymity.


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