Family war on Lalu turf

Till a month back the rebellion by Tejpratap Yadav, elder son of Lalu Prasad, against his younger brother Tejashvi had very few takers. But with Lalu’s daughter and Rajya Sabha MP Misha Bharati blasting the brothers for fighting, bolstering the chances of their opponents JD(U) and BJP, it has given a rude shock to the RJD rank and file.
Apparently there was no reason for Misha to bring the issue to public, but for a perceived plot to avenge Lalu projecting Tejashvi as his heir apparent. She shared her feelings with Tejpratap. The motive behind the mudslinging is probably to weaken the party and Tejashvi. She opened her mouth at a "Litti-Chokha" get-together of party workers on the outskirts of Patna, a part of her Patliputra constituency, which she had lost in 2014 and has pledged to contest again.
While personal friends of Lalu are fully supportive of him and stand like a rock behind him, the cadres view the bickerings as promoted by the political enemies of Lalu. Some leaders also suspect that Nitish is promoting Tejpratap. In Nitish’s scheme of things Tejashvi is the only potential threat to him. With Tejashvi emerging as the focal point of opposition unity, Nitish cannot expect to perform well at the elections. So, if he manages to weaken him or engage him in an internal fight, then only he can hope of making a dent in the opposition base.
There is a general apprehension that infighting in the RJD would lead to the collapse of the party and its politics. But this does not appear to be correct. While Tejpratap is the public face of the family feud, Tejashvi apparently embodies the ‘politics of Lalu’. It is widely believed that Tejpratap has been playing the game of the leaders opposed to Lalu.
Taking a leaf out of his rule during the nineties once again, an attempt is being made to launch a vilification campaign against Lalu. Nitish might have provided a clean administration, but Lalu empowered the poor. To understand the success of the politics of Lalu Prasad one has to go beyond the conventional understanding of the term development. Lalu provided the poor people of Bihar their voice (awaz). He broke the traditional institutions, like police and the bureaucracy, since these were dominated by the upper castes, for whom his actions were primarily meant to disrespect the institutions, but through this he turned out to be the messiah of the poor and downtrodden.
Tejashvi, unlike his father, is a suave guy and is trying to carry out the process of psychological empowerment, which would be a continuation of the strategy and politics of Lalu Yadav. He has already formed his peer groups who are quite active to reach out his message. (IPA)

Friday, 28 December, 2018