Bihar was literally in festive mood, Nitish changed all equations in politics by uniting all those leaders who are anti-Modi and BJP. He proved that he can defeat Modi and his leadership. All those made fun of Nitish during Lok Sabha elections are now trying to be cozy with him. Nitish Kumar is an able and efficient leader and hundred times better that Modi. Oath taking ceremony was a grand celebration. Anyway, some new faces came in Bihar cabinet with experienced Nitish. Young Tejaswi Pratap Yadav is Bihar’s new Deputy Chief Minister. He took oath immediately after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday afternoon at a grand ceremony at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan. Tejaswi Prasad Yadav won his first election on the day he turned 26, two weeks ago. What a qualified political rookie he is, who has only finished class 9.
Tejaswi is the son and political heir of Lalu Yadav, who made a triumphant political comeback in this year’s Bihar election with his Rashtriya Janata Dal or RJD winning 80 of the state’s 243 seats, more than its partner Janata Dal (United) of Nitish Kumar’s 71 seats. Tejaswi Yadav is perhaps one of the youngest politicians in the country to lead a legislature party. With his rise, a new era has begun in the RJD with the leadership passing on to the next generation of Lalu Prasad, who worked strategically to return to power with a convincing victory.
For the young Tejaswi, the road to winning Raghopur was certainly not easy as he became a target for his rivals’ barbs on several occasions. His goof-up in filing election affidavits – where his elder brother, Tej Pratap, became his younger brother – or being a Class 9 dropout, Tejaswi was targeted by anyone who had a bone to pick with his father. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also referred to the goof-up and attacked the RJD chief for promoting his son at the cost of others. In his electoral debut Tejaswi, however, defeated sitting MLA of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Satish Kumar with a margin of over 22,000 votes. This victory may be seen as Tejaswi’s redemption of the defeat that his mother, Rabri Devi, suffered in the last assembly elections at the hands of Kumar, who was then in the JD(U).
It is well known how Lalu Prasad put in every effort to ensure a win for both his sons from their respective constituencies in a bid to ensure that his political clout remained intact. Lalu’s push for his sons’ victory was also seen as an attempt to restore his own clout among the Yadavs, which had waned following his disqualification to contest elections and the drubbing of his daughter Misa Bharti and his wife Rabri Devi in the Lok Sabha polls.
A tech-savvy politician, Tejaswi is quite active on social media, using the platform to reach out to his followers and well-wishers and to attack his rivals. He has conducted several online and offline campaigns under the RJD Youth wing and is said to have campaigned extensively for his family in the last assembly and Lok Sabha polls.
He was also listed as one of the 10 youngsters under 40 by Verdict, an independent policy, research and analysis think-tank based in Boston, US, which said that Tejaswi may be a game changer in the Bihar politics. Tejaswi’s older brother Tej Pratap, who turns 28, is also a minister in the new Nitish Kumar government. He was the third person to be sworn in and had to repeat a portion of his oath when Governor Ram Nath Kovind pointed out a mispronunciation. It was Tej Pratap’s first such ceremony – he too is a first-time lawmaker. Lalu Yadav, who could not contest elections or hold public office after being convicted in a corruption case, is said to have pushed for the deputy chief minister’s post for his son. Years earlier, he had installed his wife Rabri Devi, a complete political novice, as the chief minister of Bihar. Tejaswi, a former cricketer who played in the Indian Premier League, now becomes deputy chief minister have to play on a more complex pitch from today. And have to fill big shoes of Lalu. The last man to hold the post of Nitish Kumar’s deputy was the seasoned Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushil Kumar Modi, known to be a good administrator. Two years ago, Mr. Kumar dumped the BJP, an ally for 17 years. Nitish is known to carry strong likes and dislikes and never forget a slight-a trait for which Lalu Prasad described him as having ‘aant mein daant’ (teeth in his belly), did not for once forget what had been hurled at him in the campaign. Working with his new tactician Prashant Kishor, who had shaped Modi’s destiny to land him in power at the Centre, he worked carefully and crafted a soft campaign template for Bihar. He invoked only his work, the potential of the next government with him, the slights to Bihar and his own self, strident appeals to Bihar’s Asmita and speaking for himself as the lone Bihari against the Bahari. Nitish Kumar took 28 ministers in his cabinet. I must say once again Nitish rocks.
Wishing him and Bihar for every success ahead.