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Will Tejashwi Yadav Return to Lead Oppn in Bihar Assembly During Monsoon Session? RJD's Crisis is Real

Tejashwi Yadav’s silence on issues like the large number of deaths due to encephalitis and heat-wave in Bihar has raised several eyebrows in the state’s political circle.

Pankaj Kumar | News18.com

Updated:June 25, 2019, 10:43 AM IST
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Will Tejashwi Yadav Return to Lead Oppn in Bihar Assembly During Monsoon Session? RJD's Crisis is Real
File photo of RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.

Patna: With the Monsoon session of the Bihar Assembly set to begin on June 28, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is in a literal crisis with its leader, Tejashwi Yadav, missing from the scene.

Although a few other senior leaders like Abdul Bari Siddiqui and Bhola Yadav may be able to take up the role of the leader of the opposition, RJD president Ramchandra Purve expressed hope that Tejashwi would turn up on time.

Another senior leader, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, told News18, “We expect Tejashwi to take charge of the Monsoon session. If he does not, then it is certainly a serious concern for everyone.”

Singh added that those considered to be Tejashwi's mentor may have a better idea as he himself wasn't aware of the Yadav scion's whereabouts. He was referring to senior leaders Jagadanand Singh and Manoj Jha, both of whom are considered very close to the RJD acting president.

After Raghuvansh Singh recently told reporters that Tejashwi, a cricket enthusiast, may be in England where the World Cup is underway, Jha had said the Yadav scion was in Delhi.

Last week, a poster also came up in Muzaffarpur declaring a reward of Rs 5,100 for anyone able to track down a "missing" Tejashwi.

Since the Lok Sabha election results were declared on May 23, Tejashwi has been missing from the scene. He remained absent even from a party meeting held on May 28 to review the poll debacle. In the meeting, it was decided a three-member committee led by Jagadanand Singh would soon submit a report on the matter.

Tejashwi’s silence on issues such as the increasing number of deaths due to encephalitis and heat-wave in Bihar has raised several eyebrows in the state’s political circle. In his last post on Twitter, Tejashwi sent out birthday wishes for his father and RJD founder Lalu Prasad Yadav on June 10. Although many had expected him to remain present at the party office in Delhi, along with his sister Misa Bharti and Jha to celebrate the day, that was not to happen.

When Raghuvansh Singh and Purve recently went to meet the families of ailing children at Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur, they were bombarded with queries about Tejashwi’s absence.

A visibly embarrassed Singh said, “Why was the media talking about Tejashwi’s absence, a non-issue, while not questioning the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was voted in for better governance?”

“Tejashwi worked very hard in the parliamentary election, so now he is on a holiday. The whole party is active. Why you are asking such questions?” Purve told reporters.

Bhai Virendra, another leader who was earlier the party spokesperson, had a different take. “Why is Tejashwi expected to remain present at all occasions? The party is already active on the various issues concerning the state and its senior leaders are doing the job responsibly,” he said.

The state Congress, an RJD ally, has also raised questions about the absence. Recently, Pradesh Congress Committee president Madan Mohan Jha said the leader of Opposition should have been present with the people of Bihar at a time when several families were losing their children due to the encephalitis outbreak.

Sources said Tejashwi was upset with some party leaders and alliance partners for opposing him on several occasions ahead of the Lok Sabha election that ultimately led to their drubbing. He was also allegedly facing trouble from within the family.

Tejashwi is further angry over the fact that the alliance partners squarely blamed him for the rout in Bihar. The state Congress leadership had also boycotted a review meeting held on May 29. Hindustani Awam Morcha (secular) president and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has said he was not ready to accept Tejashwi as the leader of the grand alliance ahead of the Assembly election in 2020.

“After facing so much criticism and opposition from all quarters, Tejashwi now wants his father to issue clarity on the issue so that he can be given complete command, else he would work as a party soldier,” said a senior RJD leader on condition of anonymity.

Lalu Yadav, who is currently serving a 14-year sentence in Jharkhand in a multi-million-rupee fodder scam, is said to be very unhappy with the churning and is likely to bring about a major overhaul in the party after the national executive meet on July 6.

Meanwhile, the ruling Janata Dal-United (JDU) led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is having a hearty laugh. Party spokesperson Sanjay Singh recently said, “The RJD should file an FIR to get information about its missing leader Tejashwi Yadav... Those who were saying that Kumar would have to hide his face after the Lok Sabha results are announced are themselves missing for the scene,” he added.

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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