Patna: After being left out of Rashtriya Janata Dal's (RJD) list of star campaigners for the by-elections in Bihar, Lalu Prasad's elder son Tej Pratap Yadav on Friday turned up at a function hosted by Union minister Pashupati Kumar Paras.
The move has triggered many political speculations about the RJD leader, as he walked down to the Patna office of the Lok Janshakti Party's faction headed by Paras, to attend the first death anniversary of the LJP's late founder and former Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan.
The Hasanpur MLA took the mike to express his full support to the Union minister's demand that his deceased elder brother be given the Bharat Ratna.
While Tej Pratap chose to honour the invitation extended by Paras, younger brother Tejashwi, who lives just a few hundred metres away, preferred to pay floral tributes at his residence where a portrait of Paswan was placed alongside that of Jayaprakash Narayan, whose death anniversary falls on the same date.
Lalu Prasad, who is in Delhi, visited the residence of Paswan's son Chirag to take part in the function organised on the same occasion. The RJD supremo has been trying to woo the Jamui MP, isolated in the LJP since the split, stressing the close relations he shared with the deceased Dalit leader.
Earlier, the RJD had issued a list of 20-star campaigners for by-elections to Tarapur and Kusheshwar Asthan assembly segments, in which the names of Tej Pratap, Misa (Lalu's eldest daughter and Rajya Sabha MP) and Rabri Devi (wife, ex-CM) do not figure out.
The list includes party supremo Lalu Prasad, Tejashwi Yadav, Shyam Rajak, Abdul Bari Siddiqqi, Manoj Jha, Tanvir Hasan, Vrisan Patel, Bharat Mandal and others.
Meanwhile, PTI quoted a senior RJD leader who is known to be close to Lalu's family saying that Tej Pratap, Misa (Lalu's eldest daughter and Rajya Sabha MP) and Rabri Devi (wife, ex-CM) had expressed their inability to take part in the campaign, and thus their names were omitted.
Tej Pratap had on Thursday met Congress leader Ashok Ram, the father of Atirek Kumar, who is contesting from the Kusheshwar Asthan (SC) Assembly constituency on a Congress ticket which raised rumours that the elder son of Lalu may campaign for Congress candidates in the by-polls scheduled on October 30.
According to an IANS report, Ashok Ram claimed that Pratap will campaign for his son in the run-up to the bypolls.
The RJD and Congress, despite being part of Mahagathbandhan in Bihar, have put up their candidates in Kusheshwar Asthan and Tarapur Assembly seats. The by-polls are scheduled for October 30 and results will come on November 2.
Meanwhile, the CPI-ML has given support to the RJD in the by-elections. In an official statement, party state secretary Kunal said that his party has given support to the RJD and Lalu Prasad for these two seats.
The RJD has given tickets to Arun Shah to contest from Tarapur and Ganesh Bharti from Kusheshwar Asthan.
By-elections to Tarapur and Kusheshwar Asthan Assembly segments will be held on October 30. The counting of votes will take place on November 2.