Rashtriya Janata Dal vice president and veteran socialist leader Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son Tejashwi Yadav, who turns 31 today, is celebrating a quiet birthday a day before the Bihar poll results.
The cricketer-turned-politician who is serving as the leader of opposition in the Bihar Legislative Assembly, notably the youngest leader of opposition in the country, is the chief ministerial candidate of Grand Alliance in Bihar polls. Most exit polls predicted Yadav’s victory.
Excerpts from Gopalganj to Raisina—My Political Journey, Lalu Prasad Yadav’s autobiography.
“He has been sports-savvy since his childhood. He began playing cricket from the age of five or six. He was affable and had a tendancy to make friends from the very begining. While I stayed busy with myriad activities- social, political, and administrative- Tejashwi played cricket with his friends on the sprawling 1, Anne Marg Campus.”
“Tejashwi had always been an obedient and polite child. He seldom asked for money from us when he was out playing cricket. He didn’t spend too much either. His lifestyle was simple. He travelled in trains, buses and took flights from his own earnings. Neither Rabri nor I remember him ever asking for money from us to buy tickets for travelling or personal needs. He managed his expenses from the cricket fees he earned. A reasonably good cricketer, he remained humble. “
“I was happy to learn that Tejashwi got well-defined rules for deciding on the execution of tenders in the road construction department passed by the Cabinet. These reules minimized the scope for irregularities, and many senior IAS officers praised Tejashwi for his administrative acumen.”
“But he proved his real mettle as a leader only when Nitish Kumar failed 2015 mandate and returned to the BJP’s fold. Tejashwi became the leader of the Opposition. The way he spoke, opposing the motion of confidence moved by Nitish Kumar in the house on 28 July 2017, demonstrated his political talent and vision……… Nitish failed to respond. He said that he would furnish a point-wise reply to Tejashwi’s questions a an appropriate time. A year has rolled by since Nitish quint the Grand Alliance, and yet no answer has been forthcoming from him.”
Rising star in Bihar politics
“With all my experience in public life, I can say Tejashwi is a rising star in Bihar politics. He is a God-gifted child. He has an inherent talent for leadership. Most of my senior colleagues in the party have accepted him as the next-generation leader. He is fully capable of communicating with the masses in an effective manner and leading party cadres.”
Important leader in making
“Tejashwi is an important leader in the making. He already has some stupendous achievement as leader of the RJD. He has spearheaded the party to victory in three by-elections.”
“Whenever he meets me, I suggest to him that he must be compassionate and kind to the poor, serve the people as much as he can, always stand behind the underdogs, not pay too much attention to false allegations being levelled by his opponents, increase his interactions with the youth, understand their aspirations and win their hearts and confidence. I also advise him to never stop reading and study the philosophies of Gandhi, Nehru, Ambedkar, Lohia, and JP to get grounded in the idea of India, respect and love India’s cultural diversity, stick to the concepts of social justice and secularism all through his life, and take care of his health, be happy and make others happy.”