New Delhi: RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav became the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar for the second time on Wednesday. The Yadav scion had been appointed the deputy in 2015 after being elected MLA for the first time, but lost the post in 2017 as Nitish Kumar broke away from the much touted Mahagathbandhan or the ‘Grand Alliance’. Then accused of corruption, Tejashwi has returned as the kingmaker in the state.
33-year-old Tejashwi Yadav is the younger son of former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi. Initially dismissed by many for lacking political prowess and failing to fill in his father’s shoes, Tejashwi went on to lead the party to a spectacular performance in the 2020 Bihar Assembly polls when RJD secured 75 seats, emerging as the single largest party.
Born on November 9, 1989, he is the youngest of all nine siblings, and a clear favourite of his father, who recognised his political accumen early on. Here are 5 things you must know about Tejashwi Yadav:
Studied In Delhi’s Top School
Tejashwi Yadav has been targeted by his opponents over his lack of formal education as he had quit school mid way. He was studying at one of the top Delhi schools — DPS, RK Puram. However, he gave up studies after flunking in Std IX.
Career As A Cricketer
Tejashwi had a decent career as a cricketer and was selected for Delhi’s U-15, U-17 and U-19 cricket squads over the years. He was also named in the list of standby players for India’s World Cup-winning U-19 team. Later on, Tejashwi was selected by the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008. But he was limited to the team’s reserve bench for the entire season between 2008 and 2012.
While Tejashwi had decided early on in life that studies were not for him, he also chose not to cling to his cricketing aspirations even though by most accounts, he was a competent all-rounder. He announced his “retirement” from cricket just a couple of years before entering politics in 2015.
2nd Innings As Deputy CM Of Bihar
Before Chief Minister Kumar decided to pick him as his deputy for a second time, Yadav was making waves as a doughty Leader of Opposition (LoP), taking on the government of his father’s arch-rival on the floor of the Assembly, as well as, on the streets.
Despite being ridiculed for long, Yadav displayed determination in shunning dissenters and winning over allies. He also successfully befriended the CPI(ML) which has been bitterly opposed to the RJD, especially since former JNU president Chandrashekhar was gunned down, in the early 1990s, allegedly by henchmen of the local MP Mohd Shahabuddin.
Corruption Allegations Against Tejashwi
After becoming the Deputy CM of Bihar in 2015, Yadav’s name cropped up in a money laundering case, relating to illegal land transactions involving his father’s tenure as the Railway Minister in the UPA-1 government. The development drew heavy opposition ire, following which Nitish Kumar snapped ties with the RJD and ended up making a hasty return to the NDA.
Yadav took the sudden loss of power in his stride and worked to keep the RJD party afloat while his father ended up behind bars following convictions in a number of fodder scam cases. His leadership abilities were also questioned when the Grand Alliance drew a blank in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Tejashwi Married His School Sweetheart
The RJD heir apparent whom family members address by the nickname “Tarun” married his Chandigarh-based friend Rachel Iris, who has since adopted a new name “Rajshree”. The girl’s father is a Haryana-based businessman.
(With PTI inputs)