In the absence of Lalu, Tejashwi’s elevation on cards

In the absence of Lalu, Tejashwi’s elevation on cards

Lalu Prasad’s youngest son and former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Tejashwi Yadav may soon be elevated as RJD working president.

The move is necessitated as chances of Lalu, who is serving a jail sentence in Ranchi, getting bail are bleak.

Put behind bars on December 23, 2017, following his conviction in the fodder scam, Lalu last week moved Jharkhand High Court for securing bail but the court has not yet responded to his plea.

In the absence of Lalu, who is the national president of RJD, there may be legal hurdles during the Lok Sabha polls as the Election Commission would not allocate the symbol to the candidates without the signature of the party president.

It is against this backdrop that top RJD leadership is mulling over the proposal to appoint Tejashwi, who is currently Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, as RJD acting president or working president.

“Lalu ji has already made it clear about his heir apparent. There is no doubt about Tejashwi’s leadership who has proved his mettle inside the Assembly through his fiery speech, and outside through his oratory skills. He is also coordinating well with the other Opposition parties. Besides, under his leadership, the RJD won all the three byelections – Araria (Lok Sabha) and Jehanabad & Jokihat (Assembly constituencies) in Bihar held this year. It will now be a formality to convene a national executive meeting in which all the legislators and the MPs will be present and ratify the decision of Tejashwi’s elevation,” said the source.  

But this move will take place only when Lalu is denied bail by the higher courts. Last week, Lalu moved the Jharkhand High Court praying that he be granted bail as his presence (as the RJD president) for the Lok Sabha elections was necessary for legal formalities.

“We have moved for regular bail in the Jharkhand High Court because so far none of the CBI witnesses have ever pointed to the direct involvement of Lalu Prasad in the fodder scam,” said Lalu’s lawyer Prabhat Kumar in Ranchi. He has also cited Lalu’s multiple ailments as the ground on which he should be granted bail.

“We are hopeful that Lalu ji will get bail soon. If, in case, it does not happen, then the only option is to elevate Tejashwi to the top party post,” said a former MP, who is a close aide of Lalu.

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