The Rashtriya Janata Dal on Tuesday resolved to install Lalu Prasads heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav as the next Chief Minister of Bihar and defeat the current dispensation, headed by Nitish Kumar, in the assembly elections due next year.
A resolution to the effect was passed by the RJDs national council meeting here, which was for the first time held in the absence of its founding president who is in Ranchi serving sentences in fodder scam cases.
The RJD also "authorized" its jailed supremo for forging alliances with any of the other like-minded parties and asserted that the 2020 assembly polls shall "kick of the process" for unseating from power the "anti-people" Narendra Modi government at the Centre in the next general elections.
The occasion was marked by the presence of Tejashwi Yadavs elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav who has had a running feud with the younger sibling whose growing clout has left him sidelined in the party.
Prasads wife and former chief minister Rabri Devi, who has been in poor health and hence away from public functions, and daughter Misa Bharti who is a member of the Rajya Sabha remained conspicuous by their absence.
With a theatrical flourish, the mercurial Tej Pratap Yadav placed a crown on the head of the suave and savvy Tejashwi and repeated the proclamation for yet another time, "he is my Arjuna, I am his Krishna".
Notably, 30-year-old Tejashwi Yadav had been first declared RJDs Chief Ministerial candidate at its previous national council meeting in 2017 when Prasad was also present.
Alliance partners like Congress, Upendra Kushwahas RLSP and Jitan Ram Manjhis HAM have, however, expressed reservations over the same saying while each party was free to declare its leader, a government will be formed by the Grand Alliance and Chief Ministerial candidate will be decided after consultations with all the constituents.
Rubbishing speculations about the rift within Lalu Prasads family, especially his three children active in politics, Tej Pratap said "all this is the handiwork of the media which is mischievous like Narad muni".
He also sought to repudiate the general impression that he did not get along with party MLC Ram Chandra Purve who refused to seek re-election as the state unit chief turning to the latter with the remark "he is my chacha (uncle)".
Known to be always in awe of his father, Tej Pratap Yadav made yet another appeal for launching an LP (abbreviation of Lalu Prasad) movement, saying his fathers "ideology" was a source of inspiration for the current generation just like JP (Jayaprakash Narayan) and Bhagat Singh were in a bygone era.
Taking potshots at Deputy CM and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi a known bete noire of Prasads family Tej Pratap Yadav said "when Tejashwi and I took over as ministers in 2015, he had started having a stomachache".
Turning towards veteran leader Jagadanand Singh who recently took over as the state RJD chief, he said "we are like the youngsters who lead a baraat (wedding procession).
But you are like the elder lot who must lead the way".
The meeting-cum-open session was also attended by other veterans like national vice presidents Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Shivanand Tiwary besides socialist leader Sharad Yadav, who had formed his own outfit Loktantrik Janata Dal after parting ways with Nitish Kumars JD(U) which he had headed.
Yadav fought the Lok Sabha polls on an RJD ticket before merging LJD with the same. He, however, faced defeat from Madhepura in the hands of JD(U) Dinesh Chandra Yadav.
The open session also saw former state minister Vrishan Patel, a party hopper whose father Birchand Patel was a towering OBC leader from Bihar in his times, returning to the RJD after a gap of more than a decade.
A total of 10 resolutions, political as well as economic, were adopted at the meeting.