Tej returns Sushil fire

Not afraid of anyone, says Rabri Devi in defence of son

By Amit Bhelari in Patna
  • Published 9.03.17
Tej Pratap

Patna, March 8: Health minister Tej Pratap Yadav today accused Sushil Kumar Modi of targeting him in the House because the BJP leader's son was not a minister.

A verbal war had broken out in the legislature yesterday over Tej Pratap's absence from the House when questions were listed for the health department. Demanding that Tej Pratap be called to the Council, Leader of the Opposition in the Council Sushil Kumar Modi had remarked "enough was enough". He took jabs at the health minister playing the flute, dressed up as Lord Krishna, and making jalebis at home.

Attacking Sushil, Tej Pratap - who was present in both the Assembly and the Council - today said: "Sushil Modi has become restless because his son could not become minister and because of being restless he keeps on attacking me.

"(Sushil) Modi ji tells me not to follow my father's footsteps... if the son will not follow his father, then whom is he supposed to follow? He is giving such comments out of frustration because his son could not become minister."

Sushil Modi has two sons - Utkarsh Tathagat and Akshay Amritanshu, who work in the engineering and legal field, respectively.

"I do not react to children's talk," Sushil said in reaction to Tej Pratap's accusation at him. "However, my only suggestion to both sons of Lalu Prasad is not to follow their father's footsteps. Both Lalu and Rabri ruined the state in their 15 years of rule. It was Nitish who used to talk about jungle raj of Lalu-Rabri and how the people from Bihar were embarrassed about where they belonged."

"If you (read Tej Pratap) follow the footsteps of Lalu and Rabri, you will ruin your departments the way your parents did to Bihar. I will suggest him to get out of Lalu's shadow... if he considers Lalu as his guru, then his political career is doomed. If you accept Lalu and Rabri as guru, nobody can stop youfrom being annihilated."

Abstaining from Assembly and Council proceedings, apart from other important functions, is an old habit of Tej Pratap. Even during the April 2016 Assembly session, the health minister had missed many proceedings on the day he was supposed to answer queries related to his department. That time, cooperative minister Alok Mehta stood up to field the Opposition questions.

Contrary to Tej Pratap, his younger brother and deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad is always present to answer questions related to his departments, including road construction, in both Houses of the state legislature.

Sushil asked chief minister Nitish Kumar to think of sacking Tej Pratap. "Does it make any sense if the minister does not turn up in the House and answer questions on to his department? Why cannot Nitish sack him? Every year there is debate on the health department and all other important departments but ever since Tej Pratap has become health minister, no debate has taken place on health department which has a budget of Rs 8,000 crore," Modi said.

Tej Pratap's mother Rabri Devi hit back at Modi, saying: "Don't you see my son in the House? I am asking why Sushil Modi does not turn up in the House, why does not he sit in the House, why does he run away? He always attacks my family and Lalu ji but let me say we are not afraid of him. Tej Pratap, Tejashwi Yadav and Rabri Devi are not afraid of anyone."