In triangular fight of Yadavs, Lalu's son may not rise

In triangular fight of Yadavs, Lalu's son may not rise

RJD supremo Lalu Prasad has introduced his elder son Tej Pratap as his political heir. “Mera ladka hee mera uttaradhikari hoga. (My son will be the political heir),” Lalu told his partymen.

Tej Pratap is making his political debut from Mahua in Vaishali, which, before 2010, was a reserved constituency.

Lalu-Rabri’s 28-year-old son faces two other Yadavs – Rabindra Rai (from Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM, Hindustan Awam Morcha) and Jageshwar Rai (from Pappu Yadav’s Jan Adhikar Party), making thereby the poll battle a triangular contest among all the three Yadav candidates.

Around one-third of the total 2.5 lakh electorate belong to Yadav community. In 2010, Rabindra (then in JD-U), had defeated Jageshwar (then in RJD) by a margin of over 22,000 votes.

Five years down the line, Rabindra has revolted against Nitish and is now a Manjhi’s nominee. Likewise, Jageshwar too revolted against Lalu after he was denied RJD ticket. When Lalu decided to field his son Tej Pratap from Yadav-dominated seat, Jageshwar joined Pappu Yadav’s brigade and is now his candidate from prestigious seat in Vaishali.

At a dhaba on Mahua-Hajipur road, local people were found discussing the educational qualification of Tej Pratap. “This is the same Vaishali where Lord Mahavir was born. It is this place where Lord Buddha gave his last sermon on non-violence.

And here we have a person Tej Pratap, who has studied only up to Class XII. If Laluji can get his daughters better qualified, why he failed to educate his sons properly,” says a school teacher, while sipping tea. “Chotka toh tenth pass bhi nahin hai (The younger one has not cleared even Xth),” his friend adds.

“Initially, we were happy to learn that Lalu’s son will be contesting from here. But after listening to him, we feel terribly disappointed. Unlike Lalu, Tej Pratap does not have the gift of the gab. He is not a good orator and lacks leadership quality. Lalu may be a crowd puller, par beta ek dum zero hai,” Santosh Kumar, a Mahua-based businessman tells Deccan Herald.

Locals say it’s a triangular fight but as election date (Mahua goes to poll on October 28) draws closer, Rabindra Rai is consolidating his position.

Rabindra, being the HAM candidate, enjoys the confidence of Paswans and Dushads (Dalits), Kushwahas, EBCs and BJP cadre votes.

But Nitish, while canvassing for Tej Pratap in Mahua, tells the gathering, “He is not only RJD nominee. He is my candidate too.”

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