Further fuelling the fire of a possible rift within the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and his rumoured 'sidelining', Tej Pratap Yadav has launched a students' outfit by the name of Chhatra Janshakti Parishad, parallel to the RJD's existing students' wing.
The move comes after Tejashwi Yadav on 21 August had removed Akash Yadav, a close aide of Tej Pratap and the student unit chief of Chhatra RJD.
Yadav's removal had come amid a war of words between the party’s Bihar unit president Jagadanand Singh and Tej Pratap Yadav last month.
However, according to The Indian Express, both RJD and Tej Pratap have said that the new outfit should not be seen with any political overtones.
The Chhatra Janshakti Parishad
As quoted by the report, Tej Pratap said that the outfit will "strengthen the party down to the village level and mobilise the youth in and outside the state.”
The outfit was announced on Sunday, which Tej Pratap said has "blessings of Lalu ji."
RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari told Indian Express that no political meaning should be read into the formation of the outfit by Tej Pratap.
"Tej Pratap already heads a subsidiary outfit – Dharmnirpeksh Sevak Sangathan. Likewise, his new political venture will work towards strengthening the party. There is no threat to Chhatra RJD," Tewari said, as quoted by the report.
The Tussle Between Tej Pratap and Singh
Tensions escalated in the RJD's Bihar unit after Tej Pratap had accused Singh of running the party "Hitler style”. Following his remarks, Singh had stopped going to office.
However, after a meeting with Tejashwi on Wednesday, 18 August, he claimed that he would continue in his post because of Lalu.
Singh had later said that Tej Pratap was turning a "small matter into a big issue."
“Who is Tej Pratap? I am not accountable to Tej Pratap. I am accountable to Lalu Prasad, he is my president. He (Tej Pratap) is among 75 party members. Does he have any other post in the party?” Jagadanand Singh had said.
Commenting on the matter, Tejashwi, as quoted by NDTV, had later said: "Tej Pratap may be the elder brother but our parents have taught us to respect elders and be disciplined even though resentment and anger are common in politics."
(With inputs from The Indian Express and NDTV.)