Patna: The Bihar election result has produced two first-timers who expect a special pass to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's new cabinet. Lalu Yadav's sons Tej Pratap and Tejaswi Yadav, who won their debut polls yesterday, said they are ready to be ministers, if asked.
"Why should I shy away from a ministerial berth? The public is king. If they want me to be a minister, why not? What is wrong is that?" said 27-year-old Tej Pratap Yadav, the older of the two. He won from Mahua.
His brother Tejaswi, 25, has a little more experience in politics and was far more guarded.
"This is not the time to talk about all this. The mandate is for the grand alliance and it is for the coalition leaders to decide," Tejaswi said diplomatically. He is widely seen as his father's political successor even though he is younger.
Ever since the Grand Alliance of Lalu Yadav, Nitish Kumar and the Congress won by a landslide in Bihar, there has been speculation that the RJD chief, whose party emerged the single largest, will push for ministerial positions for both his sons.
Lalu Yadav, convicted in a criminal case, cannot contest elections. Many say for the former chief minister, the state polls were also about establishing a line of succession within his family.
While Tej Pratap is relatively camera shy, his younger brother is seen as the smoother one, appearing frequently on TV during the Bihar polls. "There is no question of a rivalry. We are united and we are for the people," said Tej Pratap.
Their sister Misa Bharati said yesterday: "Every lawmaker wants to minister, so if my brothers become ministers what's wrong with it?"
Last year, Misa Bharti, Lalu Yadav's oldest, contested the national election and lost.