Stalin-Alagiri feud echo in Lalu home

Tej Pratap absence at RJD meet fuels talk of sibling unease

By Amit Bhelari in Patna
  • Published 13.09.18
Tej Pratap

Patna: The story of RJD chief Lalu Prasad's sons Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav is turning out like the saga of Stalin and Alagiri, the sons of late DMK patriarch M. Karunanidhi - the younger brother is heading the party and the elder brother is feeling sidelined.

While Tejashwi - anointed by Lalu as his successor much like Stalin was by Karunanidhi - is viewed in the RJD as a mature and committed leader who can be the chief ministerial face of the party, Tej Pratap carries the image of an unpredictable loose cannon.

An indicator was Wednesday's crucial RJD meeting to discuss the upcoming Lok Sabha election and the party's stand on reservation for the upper castes. Despite being at home, Tej Pratap did not attend the meeting held at 10 Circular Road, the bungalow where the RJD first family lives. Most of the senior leaders of the party, including Rabri Devi, Misa Bharti, Jagadanand Singh, Shivanand Tiwari and Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, were present at the meeting that Tejashwi chaired.

Tej Pratap, however, remained locked in his room.

"He is on the path of Karunanidhi's son Alagiri, who was expelled from his own party," a senior leader and former parliamentarian who is part of the RJD executive committee told The Telegraph under cover of anonymity. "Every passing day, he is doing something that is bringing embarrassment for the party. It is a fact that every worker and leader of the party has accepted Tejashwi as an alternative of Laluji. However, as far as Tej Pratap is concerned, the party will disown him in days to come and nobody will take him seriously."

Karunanidhi's elder son Alagiri was expelled from the DMK on charge of continuously attacking party seniors, and anti-party activities.

Tej Pratap seems to be copying Alagiri's playbook. The elder son of Lalu has openly slammed his own party leaders and even spoke against his own family members by writing a post on Facebook - which he later disowned - that his mother Rabri Devi does not listen to him.

Tej Pratap had even told journalists that RJD Bihar president Ram Chandra Purbey does not obey him.

At the RJD foundation day event on July 5 this year, Tej Pratap had called himself master of all the leaders in the RJD, which did not go down well with the party seniors.

At present, Tej Pratap is furious that his march on Wednesday from Patna to Sitab Diara in Saran district under the banner of the RJD student wing turned out to be a damp squib. Tej Pratap, who heads the student wing, had requested Tejashwi to flag off the foot march from 10 Circular Road but the leader of Opposition refused, said sources in the know.

"Tejashwiji has his own logic; why would he take interest in a programme conceptualised by Tej Pratap who in the first place never discussed the march with Tejashwi?" said a source in the RJD. "It is basically tit for tat because Tej Pratapji had spoiled Tejashwiji's bicycle march last month."

The RJD insider said that in the coming days more such tussles would be visible in the party and ultimately Tej Pratap would be the loser.