Ever since the fallout of Tej Pratap Yadav and his wife Aishwarya Rai, life has become tough for the elder son of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav. A marriage that ended within 6 months on a bitter note has now given way for political tug of war between Yadav and Rai. Tej Pratap Yadav won the Assembly elections from the Mahua constituency in Bihar In 2015 and was handed over the charge as the Health Minister and the Environment Minister. He remained in power until July 2017, when the JD(U) withdrew its support to the coalition government.
Talks of Aishwarya Rai contesting from Mahua constituency
In the ongoing Bihar elections, Yadav has decided to contest from the Hasanpur constituency in Samastipur district as RJD deemed it to be a safe seat. This is despite the fact that a formidable JDU candidate, Raj Kumar Rai, has been contesting from the seat. It is believed that the change of heart happened after talks about his estranged wife Aishwarya contesting from the Mahua seat. The Mahua constituency is close to the Parsa assembly segment, which is considered a stronghold of his father-in-law Chandrika Roy. Aishwarya was seen reaching out to people in the Parsa constituency and narrating the ‘ill-treatment’ meted out by Yadav’s family. She had also sought justice for her ordeal.
Tej Pratap Yadav up against strong rival candidates in Hasanpur constituency
Even though Hasanpur constituency is dominated by the Yadav community, Tej Pratap Yadav’s opponent Raj Kumar Rai also belongs to the same caste. Rai has been elected two times from the same constituency since 2010. The RJD candidate is also up against Janadhikar Party candidate Pappu Yadav alias Rahesh Ranjan, who has been actively campaigning from the same seat.
The RJD has long relied upon the Yadav and Muslim vote bank, who constitute 65,000 and 25,000 voters respectively. At the same time, the Upper-caste voters, Kushwahas, Paswans and Extremely Backward Castes constitute around 20000, 16000, 18000 and 13000 voters respectively. In both 2010 and 2015 Assembly elections, Muslims and Yadavs voted for Raj Kumar Rai but this time a chunk of the votes may shift to RJD. As such, the other castes will play a major role in deciding the election outcome.
War of words between Tej Pratap Yadav and Raj Kumar Rai
Tej Pratap Yadav has been actively campaigning, ahead of the upcoming 2020 Bihar elections, often cycling, playing the flute, and playing cricket with youngsters and eating ‘Litthi-Chokha’ to lure voters towards the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Hitting out at his rival JD(U) candidate, Yadav alleged, “No development work has been done in this constituency as is evident from the broken roads. I have come to develop it…I did a lot of development work in Mahua and on people’s demand have come to Hasanpur to do so in the next five years.”
“He (Tej Pratap) knows nothing about Hasanpur. He even does not know the roads in the area and has to move around with the help of locals. Those who don’t know anything about the area what kind of development they can do here?” Raj Kumar rai hit back.
Troubled marriage of Tej Pratap Yadav and Aishwarya Rai
Tej Pratap Yadav and Aishwarya Rai got married in May 2018. But the couple filed for a divorce a few months after the wedding. In December last year, Aishwarya and Rabri Devi, her mother-in-law accused each other of torture and harassment. She also accused her sister in law Misa Bharti and Tej Pratap of harassing and assaulting her. Tej Pratap Yadav has claimed that he was made a scapegoat for the political benefits of his family members.