Patna: In fresh trouble for Lalu Prasads RJD, his mercurial elder son Tej Pratap Yadav on Monday urged his mother Rabri Devi to contest from Saran Lok Sabha seat in place of the father of his estranged wife and threatened to contest as an Independent if his request was not heeded.
The maverick MLA and former minister spoke while announcing the formation of a parallel outfit Lalu Rabri Morcha which he insisted was not separate from the RJD and pointed towards photographs of his parents besides younger brother Tejashwi Yadav who has in the recent past emerged as the partys de facto leader.
Saran is the seat of my father Lalu ji and mother Rabri ji. I urge my mother, with folded hands, that she herself enter the fray from there. If this does not happen I will contest as an independent and make my best efforts to win it, a furious Yadav told reporters here.
Chandrika Rai, the partys MLA from Parsa seat falling under Saran, was announced as the party candidate from the Lok Sabha seat last week. BJP has named sitting MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy as its nominee on the politically important seat.
Rai's daughter Aishwarya had tied the knot with Yadav in May last year though the latter moved a divorce petition within less than six months of the marriage.
After the announcement of his candidature, Rai had sought to downplay speculations that the development could enrage his volatile son-in-law and said he is one of the star campaigners of the party. He will not do anything that is detrimental to the interests of the RJD.
About his own candidature, Rai had said I am a six-term MLA from Parsa and hence competent enough to fight this seat which is valuable to our party. Rabri Devi may have chosen not to contest this time as she would be very busy with campaigns across the state.
Notably, Saran was won by Prasad in 2009 his last shot at the hustings before conviction in a fodder scam case four years later left him disqualified. Rabri Devi was fielded from the seat in 2014 but she lost to BJPs Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
Prasad has represented Chapra, the name by which the parliamentary segment was previously known, a number of times.
Yadav, who has been pressing the candidature of two of his loyalists Chandra Prakash from Jehanabad and Angesh from Sheohar announced that the duo would be fielded by his Morcha from the respective seats.
Replying to a query, he shot back what action can the party take against me. The RJD leadership has to realize that there is widespread resentment against the NDA government in Bihar which we have to harness. We must not end up angering the people.
Many elements have entered the RJD who are trying to drive a wedge between my brother and I. I would urge Tejashwi, whom I always call my Arjuna, to beware of such elements. He must not pay heed to those who mislead him into taking decisions whereby committed workers feel slighted, Yadav said.
Older than Tejashwi Yadav, the mercurial elder son of Lalu-Rabri has dropped many hints in the past few years that he was uneasy with the growing clout with his younger, but more suave and savvy, brother.
In the recent past, he has berated people known to be close to Tejashwi, like Maner MLA and state chief spokesman Bhai Virendra.
A day prior to the announcement of candidates for phases three to seven by the Grand Alliance which the RJD leads in Bihar, Yadav had resigned as the patron of the partys student wing which was seen yet another expression of his frustration at being politically sidelined.