Tejashwi Yadav: The new political maverick ?

Tejashwi Yadav is the new leader to emerge on Bihar’s political scene. Shining as the leader of opposition, he is giving a tough time to the government. He is making Chief Minister Nitish Kumar look worried. Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president and former chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav’s second son, Tejashwi Yadav has become the focal point of state politics. He is getting recognition in national politics. He attended the recently held swearing in ceremony of Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy and attracted the attention of the national leaders. At this ceremony, he touched the feet of Congress and Trinamool Congress chiefs Sonia Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee to seek their blessings. Political analysts predict that the future politics of Bihar belongs to Tejashwi Yadav.

Till three years ago, Tejashwi Yadav was not known to many people. His introduction was merely as the son of Lalu and in Ranji cricketer. He came in limelight in 2015 when he became the deputy chief minister of RJD-JD (U) coalition government. Last year when Chief Minister Nitish Kumar bid goodbye to the friendship with RJD and joined NDA, Tejashwi faced the crisis. When CBI and ED booked cases of irregularities and money laundering, Nitish Kumar asked him to resign as the deputy chief minister. Tejashwi refused to resign. Taking this as an opportunity, Nitish severed ties with RJD to again become chief minister with BJP’s support. The problems for Tejashwi started then. He was surrounded by problems like cases against him, father being sent to jail in fodder scam case and losing the post of deputy chief minister. On the other hand, party became like an orphan. Usually in such a situation any leader and that too a leader without political experience gives up. He goes into oblivion. But Tejashwi took this problem as a challenge. He turned the crisis into an opportunity. He saw it is an opportunity to politically strengthen himself and the party. Political observers feel that Tejashwi Yadav succeeded in this effort. Tejashwi, who discontinued his education after 9th class to focus on Ranji cricket, also played a few matches. Due to the situation faced by the family, he plunged into politics. In 2015 elections, he got elected to the assembly from Raghopur and became the deputy chief minister. This 25-year-old youth is the only leader in Indian politics to hold such a key post at such a young age. He is also the youngest ever opposition leader.

Tejashwi faced problems when his father was sent to jail. Politically tough time started for him. Facing CBI and ED cases on one hand and party turning into an orphan, the competence of Tejashwi came to the fore. He succeeded in overcoming these problems. He steered the party to victory in the by-elections to Araria Lok Sabha and Jehanabad and Bhabua assembly seats in March this year. He fielded party candidates in Araria and Jehanabad and Congress candidate in Bhabua. With the victories in Araria and Jehanabad, he hit the headlines. With the same spirit, he ensured the defeat of JD (U) candidate in Jokihat. He thus displayed his leadership qualities and competence.  This by-election had become necessary after JD (U) MLA Sarfaraz Alam resigned from the party to protest alliance with the BJP. Tejashwi Yadav included Alam in the party, fielded him from Araria Lok Sabha constituency and ensured his victory. In Jokihat, he fielded Alam’s brother. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar made all efforts to retain this sitting constituency. He sent half of his ministers for campaigning but it was of no avail. Tejashwi ensured victory of Shahnawaz  Alam with a majority of 41,000. After the results of by-elections, Tejashwi Yadav suddenly became a hero. He caught the attention of the national leaders. With the series of victories, he boosted the morale of the party cadre. He became a guide to non-BJP parties in the state. He is not well educated but with fiery speeches he attracts people’s attention and remains in forefront to expose the rivals. By questioning Nitish Kumar’s commitment to secularism, he has won the hearts of minorities. He is working with the goal to win 2020 assembly elections. He is confident of winning this battle. Let us see what happens…!

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