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JD(U) takes potshots over Tej Pratap's absence at RJD meeting

The ruling JD(U) in Bihar Wednesday took potshots at the opposition RJD over the absence of Lalu Prasad's elder son Tej Pratap Yadav at a party meeting here a day ago and claimed that the development indicated a "rift" within the party chief's family.

The RJD, however, hit back claiming that the former state minister had "commitments elsewhere" and accused the ruling party of "building castles in the air" and making "deplorable" statements.

"Whenever the struggle for power enters a family, it leads to a Mahabharat. The situation within the family which controls the RJD has become explosive. It is just a matter of time before the explosion takes place", JD(U) spokesman Sanjay Singh told mediapersons here.

Yadav was conspicuous by his absence at a meeting of the party's top leaders on Tuesday, held at the residence of his mother and party vice-president Rabri Devi.

Speculations have been rife about the elder scion of the family feeling slighted ever since his younger brother Tejashwi Yadav was named as the party's chief ministerial canidate last year.

Tejashwi Yadav was the Deputy Chief Minister in the previous Grand Alliance government wherein the elder brother held a cabinet berth. Currently, the younger sibling is the leader of the opposition in the state assembly.

The mercurial Tej Pratap had given vent to speculations a few months ago when he had come up with a facebook post suggesting that he was planning to retire from politics, leaving the field for his younger brother.

However, he later came out with a clarification that his post was "misinterpreted" and that he was fully behind his younger brother whom he likes to call "Arjuna" while viewing himself in the position of Krishna.

Asked about the JD(U) spokesman's statement, RJD Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha told PTI "I was present at the meeting. There is no strife and the entire family is standing together in solidarity".

"Such statements are deplorable and go against the texture of politics in Bihar. The ruling party people seem to be building castles in the air, hoping against hope that some crisis will come in the way of the RJD at which the masses of the state are looking with hope", Jha said.

"It is discourteous and reckless to draw wild conculsions and share the same with the media without even verifying that people may have commitments elsewhere", the RJD national spokesman remarked.