- Tej Pratap Yadav had recommended names for Jehanabad and Sheohar
- He had threatened to quit the party and start a new political outfit
- Lalu Yadav's party announced that Syed Faisal Ali is Sheohar candidate
After a two-week sulk, Tej Pratap Yadav appeared to fall in line on Sunday, as his father, even from jail, took a hard line. With announcement of one last candidate for the coming elections, Lalu Yadav made it clear that Tejashwi Yadav, younger to Tej Pratap or not, remains his chosen political heir and anyone flouting his authority would be put in place.
The announcement was for Sheohar, the last of Bihar's 40 Lok Sabha seats where the party had not announced a candidate. While the name -Syed Faisal Ali, a journalist - was a surprise, for Tej Pratap Yadav, it was also a signal that his father would not consider any of the two names he recommended for the seats of Jehanabad and Sheohar.
Tej Pratap, who had been unable to get ticket for even a single close friend this time, was counting on a positive decision. Last week, he had even threatened to quit the party and start a new political outfit that he had provisionally named "Lalu-Rabri Morcha" after his parents.
But on Sunday, the man who often said he was Krishna to his brother's Arjuna, tweeted at length about Duryodhan and the futility of his attempt to tie up Krishna. It was followed by another tweet warning "anyone who attempts to come between me and my family" - indicating that he accused someone of manipulating him.
Family sources said Tej Pratap is under the influence of Sadhu Yadav, the elder brother of Rabri Devi, who once wielded enormous power within the party, but eventually lost the favour of Lalu Yadav and got thrown out.
Sources said through Tej Pratap, Sadhu Yadav is trying to make a comeback.
Yesterday, Tej Pratap had also tweeted that media reports that he was about to quit his party and join another was false.
Sources close to Lalu Yadav said he had made it a point to not even consider Tej Pratap's request. What irked Lalu Yadav and Rabri Devi was that conceding to the elder son's blackmail would have amounted to challenging the authority of Tejaswi, which the party cannot afford at this point.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal has been facing a crisis since Lalu Yadav was jailed last year in several corruption cases.
Tej Pratap, who called a press conference on Sunday, kept reporters waiting and didn't turn up. Sources close to him say he is weighing all his options. Some RJD leaders say they suspect a section of the BJP is out to woo him.
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