Lalu's Debutante Sons Get Six Ministries In Nitish Kumar Government

20/11/2015 10:15 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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PATNA, INDIA - MAY 15: RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi’s sons Tej Pratap and Tejashwi Yadav (L) at Parivartan Rally at Gandhi Maidan on May 15, 2013 in Patna, India. Addressing his first major rally in Bihar in a decade, 65 year old RJD supremo called Chief Minister Nitish Kumar a dictator. (Photo by AP Dubey/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- Tej Pratap Yadav faced an embarrassing situation today when he had to repeat his oath after mispronouncing two words at the swearing in ceremony of ministers in Nitish Kumar's new government, but the day ended with a power surge for the 27-year-old politician and his younger brother Tejaswi Yadav.

The two sons of Lalu Prasad Yadav will head six ministries: health, environment, irrigation, making roads, construction of buildings and the development of backwards as well as extremely backwards castes in Bihar.

An alliance between former rivals Yadav and Kumar nailed the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state polls. As they weathered the stormy seas of campaigning, there was a great deal of speculation over how Yadav would make his peace with playing second fiddle to Kumar, who took oath as the chief minister for the fifth time on Friday.

Yadav's conviction in a fodder scam case in 2013 came with a six year ban from contesting election, but now his Rashtriya Janata Dal forms the single largest party in the State Legislative Assembly. And with two sons at the helm of power in Bihar, the Yadav family bids adieu to its days in political wilderness.

Over a decade after the sun set on the Lalu-Rabri rule in Bihar, Tejaswi, the youngest of their nine children, is set to become the Deputy Chief Minister of the state. He defeated BJP's Satish Kumar by 22,733 votes in Raghopur, a seat won by both his mother and father in the past.

The 26-year-old politician, who dropped out of school after class nine, once aspired to make a career out of cricket. He played with the Delhi Daredevils for a few years, but his dreams of making it to the big league never quite panned out.

His elder brother defeated Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular)'s Ravindra Ray by 28,155 votes in Mahua. But some observers question whether Tej Pratap, a high school graduate, should be handed the crucial health ministry.

At the swearing-in-cermony today, Governor Ramnath Kovind told Tej Pratap to repeat his oath after he mispronounced apekshit as upekshit, and then jab instead of tab.

Although he is two years younger, Tejaswi is widely regarded as Lalu's heir.

Speaking with HuffPost India, RJD leader Alok Kumar Mehta, who was sworn in today as the minister for the Cooperative Department, said that young politicians at the helm of affairs represented a "transition" from the old guard.

"It is very nice to see young people taking over. This kind of transition shows good sense," he said.

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