In an exclusive interaction with Republic TV, former chief minister of Bihar Rabri Devi admitting of the Lalu family feud stated that she feels the absence of her son, Tej Pratap.
She further expressed how along with her the people of Bihar feel Lalu Prasad Yadav's absence, who has been serving jail-time over fodder scam cases.
She said, "People of Bihar are missing Lalu ji. I obviously feel his absence, and people of Bihar are also missing him. I appeal to the people of Bihar that, wherever the elections are happening in Bihar, I ask you to give us victory on all 40 seats. I request you to give votes on all 40 seats to RJD and Mahagathbandhan."
"There will be no adverse effect on elections. Our seats will only increase. The seats of Mahagathbandhan," she added.
A day after appealing her elder son, Tej Pratap to return home after he moved out of the Patna family home, Devi told Republic that 'a mother always feels her son's absence'
She said, "He is with us. His abode is just a few kilometers away, so how is he not with us? He is with us. He is not outside Bihar. Yes, I do feel his absence. A mother always feels her son's absence. Even when the son goes abroad, they feel the absence, everybody feels their son's absence."
Five months back the elder son moved out of the house, and in an emotional appeal, mother Rabri Devi asked Tej Pratap to return.
"Bahut hua, laut aao beta" (Enough son, please return home)," she said, adding she talks to Tej Pratap Yadav daily on phone.
When asked about reported rift between Tej Pratap and her younger son Tejashwi Yadav, she said there was no truth in it and was a creation of vested interests.
"Some people have been trying to instigate and mislead my son. It is possible that our rivals', BJP and JD-U, people may be behind it," she added.
Amid the reports of him launching a separate party 'Lalu-Rabri Morcha', Tej Pratap Yadav on Saturday posted a tweet, clearing the air that he would stay with the Rashtriya Janata Dal.
The former RJD's students wing convener said, "It is a rumor that I am starting a new political party. I completely dismiss the reports. Rashtriya Janata Dal is my party, and will always remain so."
Declaring his intent that his younger son Tejashwi Yadav was his chosen political heir over his elder son - Tej Pratap Yadav, RJD patron Lalu Prasad Yadav had taken a stern stand against Tej Pratap Yadav's demands wanting to get his close aides the Jehanabad and Sheohar seats on April 8.
There have been reports that Tej Pratap Yadav, the mercurial elder son of Lalu-Rabri, had been resentful of Tejashwi Yadav being declared as the political heir apparent of the RJD supremo.
Tej Pratap Yadav has dropped many hints in the past few years that he was uneasy with the growing clout with his younger, but more suave and savvy, brother.
However, making his solidarity with RJD and the party supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav clear, he had also tweeted a 'family portrait' showing, Tejashwi Yadav, Tej Pratap, Lalu Prasad, Rabri Devi, and Misa Bharti. He captioned the picture, saying: " Anyone who comes between me and my family will face complete annihilation"
Dismissing the reports of infighting between her brothers Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav due to the distribution of tickets, RJD candidate from Patliputra Misa Bharti has said the opposition is "spreading these rumors", but her party is united to end Modi Raj.
"There are no problems between them. Tej Pratap ji always considered Tejashwi as his 'Arjun'. He might have suggested some names and discussions might be going on or party must have taken decision unanimously. It is a common process and every political party goes through it," Bharti, the eldest daughter of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, told PTI in an email interview.
( With PTI inputs)