Jai Prakash Janta Dal (JPJD) national president Pankaj Sahay on Saturday confirmed that he was in talks with jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav and the latter may soon join the party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Speaking to News Nation’s Raju Kumar, the JPJD chief said, "Media reports saying Tej Pratap Yadav has joined the party are not correct. He has not joined yet, but yes. talks are on with Tej Pratap Ji. Somebody leaked the pictures of the meeting, and the media started speculating. Talks are on and we will announce when the right time comes."
Earlier, a picture of Tej Pratap Yadav holding a booklet of the JPJD went viral on social media. Following this, several media houses started speculating that the disgruntled RJD leader has joined Pankaj Sahay’s party.
Four disgruntled Janata Dal-United (JD-U) MLAs - Laxmi Narayan Yadav, Jainandan Yadav, Vishwanath Singh and Sashi Kumar Rai - had formed the Jai Prakash Janata Dal (JPJD) in 2002. The party had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on 7 parliamentary seats in Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir but lost miserably.
The feud in Lalu Prasad’s family intensified again with elder son Tej Pratap announcing the launch of his own political outfit ‘Lalu Rabri Morcha’ just days before the Lok Sabha elections. Tej Pratap was angry with his brother Tejashwi, who is seen as Lalu’s political heir, after his candidates were not given tickets by the RJD.
Even before the RJD released its candidates, Tej Pratap had announced candidature of his close aides from Jahanabad and Shivhari constituencies. However, the demands of Tej Pratap were acquiesced by the RJD, which named its own candidates from both the seats.
"Like the Pandavas had asked for just five villages, I had asked for just two seats. I never got an answer for that," he told reporters in Patna on Monday.
What added salt to the injury was the announcement of his estranged father-in-law Chandrika Rai’s name from Saran seat. Tej Pratap said that an outsider should not be given ticket from Saran and instead of Rai, his mother Rabri Devi should contest from the seat.