Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tej Pratap Yadav, son of the party’s chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, on Monday announced that he had formed the “Lalu-Rabri Morcha” ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, reported The Indian Express. The Yadav scion did not make clear whether his was a rival faction within the Rashtriya Janata Dal or a separate entity.
The development comes after Tej Pratap Yadav resigned from the student wing of his party last week, amid reports of tensions within the Yadav family over ticket distribution for the elections in Bihar, which votes in seven phases from April 11 to May 19.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, Tej Pratap Yadav urged the Rashtriya Janata Dal to put up candidates of his choice in two seats in Bihar – Sheohar and Jehanabad. In a veiled threat to his party, he indicated that his front is also ready to put up candidates in all 20 seats (out of a total of 40 in Bihar) that the Rashtriya Janata Dal is contesting from in the upcoming elections. “We are ready to look at all 20 seats in our own way,” he said.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal is part of a grand alliance in Bihar that also comprises the Congress, the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, Hindustani Awam Morcha and the Vikasheel Insaan Party.
In response to a question about whether his parents support his move, he said that he has always had their blessings. He also claimed that some elements in the party were trying to spread misinformation about a rift within the family and create differences between him and his younger brother, Tejashwi Yadav, the former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar and the current leader of Opposition in the Bihar Legislative Assembly.
While addressing the media, Tej Pratap Yadav said his mother Rabri Devi should contest from the Saran Lok Sabha seat and if not, he would contest from there. That seat has been given to Chandrakant Rai, the father of Tej Pratap Yadav’s estranged wife, which reportedly upset the Yadav scion. Earlier, Lalu Yadav was a member of Parliament from here and in 2014, Rabri Devi contested from the seat but lost.