11­day puja held to re­solve Tej’s mar­i­tal prob­lems

Hindustan Times (Ranchi) - - Front Page - Anir­ban Guha Roy anir­ban­roy@htlive.com ■

MIRZAPUR (UP): Amid strains in the mar­riage of Tej Pratap Ya­dav, an 11-day puja was per­formed at Maa Vind­hyavasini Devi tem­ple at Mirzapur, a priest said Fri­day. Lalu Prasad’s fam­ily has im­mense faith in the god­dess en­shrined there and have been fre­quent vis­i­tors to the tem­ple in eastern UP.

PATNA: Af­ter days of sus­pense over his where­abouts, RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s el­der son Tej Pratap Ya­dav on Fri­day broke his si­lence say­ing he was at Harid­war and re­it­er­ated that he would not come home un­less his par­ents ac­cepted some of his de­mands, in­clud­ing di­vorce from his wife.

The adamant stand of Tej Pratap not to re­turn home and opt­ing to visit re­li­gious places hop­ing from Varanasi to Harid­war via Vrin­da­van has surely left his par­ents quite up­set. This is per­haps the rea­son why for­mer chief min­is­ter and Tej Pratap’s mother, Rabri Devi on Fri­day an­nounced not to per­form the Ch­hath fes­ti­val to be­gin in next two days.

This is not all. Tej Pratap’s di­vorce episode cast its shadow on the birth­day of his younger brother and leader of op­po­si­tion Te­jashwi Prasad Ya­dav on Fri­day, with the RJD’s rank and file not go­ing in for gala cel­e­bra­tions of the young leader.

Even Te­jashwi was not in Patna on Fri­day pre­fer­ring to leave for New Delhi, but was greeted by Tej Pratap on phone. Sources said Te­jashwi went to New Delhi, as he had to ap­pear in court in con­nec­tion with the IRCTC scam.

In­ci­den­tally, close aide of RJD chief Lalu Prasad and sit­ting Ba­hadur­pur MLA, Bhola Ya­dav, how­ever, cited ‘health rea­son’ for Rabri not ob­serv­ing the Ch­hath fes­ti­val, which has been ob­served by the RJD’s first fam­ily for decades.

As chief min­is­ter in late 90s to mid-2000, Rabri used to reg­u­larly ob­serve Ch­hath at her of­fi­cial CM bun­ga­low and later con­tin­ued the prac­tice of pay­ing obei­sance to the Sun God by ob­serv­ing the four-day fes­ti­val at her of­fi­cial 10, Cir­cu­lar res­i­dence. A cou­ple of years back, Rabri had not per­formed the rit­u­als for health rea­sons.

“Rabri Devi is not well. Her health is not per­mit­ting her to ob­serve the fes­ti­val this time,” Bhola said, even as he ap­pealed to the me­dia not to at­tach much im­por­tance to the di­vorce episode re­lated to Tej Pratap. “It is a fam­ily mat­ter and it will be sorted out by the fam­ily. Such things hap­pen in all house­holds and re­solved nat­u­rally,” he said.

How­ever, talk­ing to a news chan­nel, Tej Pratap said he was not com­ing home be­cause his par­ents were not sup­port­ing him on his de­ci­sion to take di­vorce from his wife, Aish­warya.

The cou­ple had wed­ded on May 12 in Patna in a star stud­ded af­fair. He also said that he was on way to Harid­war af­ter hav­ing vis­ited Vrin­da­van. For cou­ple of days, Tej Pratap was in Varanasi.

“I have not got sup­port from my par­ents ever since I have filed a di­vorce pe­ti­tion seek­ing sep­a­ra­tion from my wife. I am feel­ing quite let down, har­rassed and have no rea­son to come home un­less my par­ents ac­cept my de­ci­sion. I will come home when they ac­cept my de­ci­sion and also ful­fil some of my other de­mands,” he said.

Tej Pratap said he had shared his agony over not ad­just­ing with his wife Aish­warya to his par­ents, in­clud­ing RJD chief Lalu Prasad, when he had met him on Satur­day last week, but lamented that his par­ents were not ex­tend­ing a sym­pa­thetic ear to his griev­ances. “Tell me what should I do?” he said.

The RJD chief el­der son, at­tract­ing eye­balls in last few days, also aired his ire over one Bipin claim­ing the lat­ter was spread­ing ca­nard against him and even ha­rass­ing his friends. Sources said Bipin is con­sid­ered close to Tej Pratap’s fam­ily and his in-laws.

What is more, Tej Pratap also ob­served there were some ‘dury­o­d­hans’ in his fam­ily, who were re­spon­si­ble for mar­i­tal dis­cord with his wife and also in­duct­ing peo­ple hav­ing crim­i­nal back­ground in the party.

In­sid­ers said Tej Pratap’s ref­er­ence of ‘Dury­o­d­hans’ was in con­text to three of his cousins, who have be­come quite pow­er­ful in the fam­ily and call­ing the shots af­ter Te­jaswhi has be­come the num­ber 2 in the party af­ter sen­tenc­ing of the RJD chief in fod­der scam cases. Lalu is at present un­der­go­ing treat­ment in RIMS, Ranchi.

“Tej Pratap is miffed with his cousins and feels they have side­lined him in the party. He wants them to be re­moved from fam­ily mat­ters,” said a se­nior RJD leader, wishing not to be quoted.

None­the­less, the for­mer health min­is­ter ap­pears to have no com­plains against his younger brother Te­jashwi equat­ing the op­po­si­tion leader as “Ar­jun” and as­sert­ing that he would guide his younger si­b­ling like Kr­ishna.

■ Tej Pratap Ya­dav

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