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Tejashwi to seek re-election Raghopur, Tej Pratap shifts seat

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Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav has relinquished Mahua constituency in Vaishali district this time, and is set to file nomination from Hasanpur, while his brother Tejashwi is seeking re-election from Raghopur.

 

IMAGE: RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav addresses a press conference in Patna. Photograph: PTI Photo

Both Raghopur and Hasanpur seats will go to polls in the second phase of Bihar elections, on November 3.

Notification has already been issued for phase-2 and nomination filing is currently underway.

Sources in the RJD said Tej Pratap, the sitting MLA from Mahua, was likely to submit his papers on Tuesday, while his younger brother might do so the day after.

Earlier on Monday, Tej Pratap received the party symbol for Hasanpur seat from his mother Rabri Devi, in the presence of younger brother Tejashwi, pictures of which were posted on Facebook.

The post also had a photo of Lalu, with ‘Miss you papa’ written on it.

The incarcerated RJD president’s elder son will face sitting Janata Dal-United MLA Raj Kumar Ray in Hasanpur.

Tejashwi, on the other hand, is pitted against Bharatiya Janata Party’s Satish Kumar, who had trounced his mother Rabri Devi from the
seat in the Sonepur district in 2010.

Both the brothers, however, had a smooth sail in 2015 polls as candidates of the Grand Alliance, of which Nitish Kumar’s JD-U was then a part, along with the Congress.

Prasad had extracted his pound of flesh from Kumar by getting Tejashwi anointed as deputy chief minister, and Tej Pratap was allotted the health ministry.

A section of media claimed that Tej Pratap, who is embroiled in marital dispute with legislator Chandrika Rai’s daughter Aishwarya, chose to move out of Mahua seat, apprehending that she might be fielded against him in the constituency.

Rai, who recently joined the JD-U, is a sitting MLA from Parsa seat. The Rai family enjoys considerable support in Mahua, too, which is close to Parsa.

RJD spokesperson Mritynjay Tiwari, however, rubbished the claim and said Tej Pratap decided to enter the fray from Hasanpur on popular demand.

“Entire Bihar is the ‘karya kshetra‘ (work place) of Lalu jee. His family can contest from anywhere and secure victory,” Tiwari said.

Hasanpur, with a sizeable number of Yadav voters, has elected representatives only from the community since 1967.

Though JD-U nominee and present MLA Raj Kumar Ray has won two consecutive polls from the constituency, the RJD

sources said Tej Pratap decided to file his nomination from the seat, having received feedback that anti-incumbency sentiments were running high in the constituency.

At Raghopur, Tejashwi’s main rival, Satish Kumar of the BJP, had won in 2010, but could not curry favour with the voters in 2015.

The BJP had fought the last election on its own.

In July 2017, Nitish Kumar left the Grand Alliance and joined hands with the saffron party, thus ushering in the National Democratic Alliance regime once again in the state.

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