tej pratap and aishwarya
India Politics

Catcher in the Rai: Tej Pratap says Aishwarya is too modern for his simpleton Patna heart

RJD leader and former minister Tej Pratap Yadav, famous for being the elder son of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, had been living a life that was suffocating, thanks to marital incompatibility.


She was metrosexual, he is retrosexual, and the twain met in an arranged marriage that resembled a political alliance. In five months, the alliance met the fate that political alliances often do.

Tej Pratap Yadav married Aishwarya Rai in May this year. She is from a political family. Her grandfather Daroga Rai was once chief minister of Bihar and her dad Chandrika Rai is an MLA from Lalu’s party.

The wedding involved much political fanfare and the posters celebrating their union has still not faded. The marriage has.

Tej Pratap Yadav said on Saturday that he was a simpleton who was forced to marry the “urbane” Aishwarya Rai against his wishes. He told reporters that he was just a pawn and couldn’t live this stifling life forever.

His reaction came a day after his lawyer filed a divorce petition at the Patna civil court.

The development has shocked not just the political class. Aishwarya Rai’s father and mother both drove into the Yadav household where Tej Pratap’s mother Rabri Devi holds court in Lalu Prasad’s absence. Both the families were in talks late into the night. Aishwarya Rai, who now stays at her in-laws’ house, has not commented.

Tej Pratap, however, has made it clear he was not considering any rollback. The petition is in court and he is not withdrawing it. The case will come up for hearing on November 29. He has cited incompatibility and cruelty as grounds for seeking a divorce.

Speaking to reporters in Bodh Gaya, where he made a brief stopover on his way to Ranchi to meet his ailing and incarcerated father Lalu Prasad, Tej Pratap said, “I had told my parents that I did not wish to marry at this moment of time. But nobody listened to me. Ours was a mismatch. I am a simple man with simple habits while she is a modern woman, educated in Delhi and used to live in a metropolis.”

Asked about his decision at a time when his father is in poor health, Tej said, “I have been living a stifled (ghut ghut ke) life. How long can one go on like this?”

He also said he has not been on talking terms with his wife for the past couple of months.

Asked whether his younger brother and the present party boss Tejashwi Yadav said anything to him on the issue, he said they talk about politics, not about such matters.

He said the separation has been sought to invoke Section 13 A of the Hindu Marriage Act under which either spouse can unilaterally seek a divorce.

Tej Pratap projects himself as Krishna and often dresses up in Krishna costumes. He plays the flute to cows and blows the conch to energize supporters at rallies.

When Patna is abuzz with a rift between him and his younger brother and party boss, Tejashwi, the elder Tej Pratap does not forget to mention that he was Krishna to the Arjuna Tejashwi. That he is not in this for power or position but to lead his party to power and position.

He has not renounced it all though. He has been quite miffed with his brother for sidelining who he calls his people to the party. The party, however, is not faction-ridden. The family is firmly behind Tejashwi, who is younger, suaver and has the Delhi sophistication that Tej Pratap finds incompatible with his Patna sensibilities.

His Patna heart dislikes the Delhi in Aishwarya Rai, so much so that the couple has not been on talking terms for a couple of months. The Krishna of Circular Road, Patna, has come full circle. Aishwarya is clearly not his Subhadra and definitely not Radha.

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