Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Yadav's eldest daughter Misa Bharti on Monday acknowledged the "rift" between her two brothers, Tej Pratap and Tejashwi Yadav, but later clarified that despite all differences, the party was a "big family".
Latching onto her statement, the Bharatiya Janata Party alleged that Bharti's admittance of infighting in the RJD would lead to the collapse of the party and its dynasty politics.
Addressing party workers in Maner on the outskirts of Patna, Bharti asked them to give up bickering and stay united.
A day after Bharti’s comments about ‘rift’ between her two brothers, Tej Pratap Yadav on Tuesday asserted there was no infighting in his family, even as Tejashwi ducked questions on the issue.
While Tej Pratap took to Twitter to categorically deny any right within the family, Tejashwi was posed with questions by journalists on the comments his sister.
Tejashwi, who is normally known to be media savvy, avoided any direct answer and rushed to his car saying, "I do not know anything about this matter. I have nothing to say.”
Tej Pratap, whose cryptic remarks in the recent past have given rise to the speculation that he shared an uneasy relationship with his brother Tejashwi, blamed the opposition parties and the media for the confusion.
‘The opposition as well as the media immensely enjoy searching for bad blood within the Lalu family. You may live in illusions, we are happy. But you are in for a huge disappointment there is no rift, neither in Lalu family, nor in the bigger RJD family,’ Yadav tweeted.
"Even our family has witnessed a rift between two brothers but where do differences not come up? Five fingers of our hands are not equal. But the RJD is like a big family," Bharti said.
"We are not lacking in support base. The challenge is to keep our flock together," she added.
However, Bharti later claimed that her call for unity among party workers was presented in a distorted manner.
Taking to Twitter she said: 'My appeal to party workers to forget their differences and unite in the larger interest of the party is being distorted and presented out of context.'
Maner falls in the Pataliputra Lok Sabha seat from where Bharti had made an unsuccessful electoral debut in 2014. She got elected to the Rajya Sabha later.
Bharti further warned that no 'back-stabbing' will be tolerated by any member of the party.
"The time has come for you all to give up small differences and brace for the bigger challenges and do not give our opponents a chance to exploit the situation," she said.
State BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand said, "Misa Bharti has admitted what we all know. The RJD will crumble because of the infighting within the family that controls the party."
"The BJP has been fighting against the politics of dynastic rule and corruption. The RJD embodies these evils and it will meet its fate", Anand said.
Said to be a favourite of Lalu Prasad, Tejashwi was appointed the deputy chief minister of Bihar while the elder brother Tej Pratap was given a cabinet berth, after the Grand Alliance of which RJD was a part won the 2015 assembly polls in which the brothers made their electoral debut.
At present, Tejashwi-- viewed as more suave and savvy among the two brothers, is the leader of the opposition in the state assembly.
Tej Pratap, whose mannerisms allegedly remind supporters of Prasad in his heyday, is currently on a pilgrimage in Kurukshetra.