RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s estranged daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai on Sunday blamed her eldest sister-in-law Misa Bharti for creating a rift between Ms. Rai and Tej Pratap Yadav and driving a wedge between Tejashwi Yadav and her husband.
A drama unfolded at the 10, Circular Road residence of former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi, where Ms. Rai spoke to the media for the first time in the presence of her parents who rushed to the spot upon receiving her distress call.
“I wanted my relationship (with Tej Pratap) to work. Hence, I had been staying here even after my husband filed a divorce petition. Though it is pending, my in-laws have started treating me as if we are already divorced,” Ms. Rai said.
She was seated under a shed along with her parents in front of the outhouses situated inside the premises while speaking to reporters.
“For the past three months, I have been subjected to ill-treatment here. I was not given food, so every day my meals used to come from my residence. Since Saturday, however, I was being denied access even to the kitchen. A personal staff of my mother-in-law rudely told me that it has been locked and refused to hand over the keys to me,” Ms. Rai said.
The estranged daughter-in-law of Rabri Devi said, when she began shooting the entire episode on her mobile phone, the staff tried to snatch it.
“I ran and he chased me until I came outside the inner quarters,” said Ms. Rai, based on whose complaint, an official of the ‘Mahila Helpline’ rushed to the spot.
Pramila, the Helpline official, told reporters, “Let me first have a detailed conversation with the complainant. Based on that, we would decide the course of action to be taken into the matter.”
When asked who were present inside the house while she was being denied food and attempts were made to snatch her phone, Ms. Rai said, “Rabri Devi, Misa Bharti and Tejashwi Yadav.”
Asked about their responses to the incident, Ms. Rai went on to say “my mother-in-law simply abdicated her responsibility while Misa Bharti, who has been staying here despite being married for long, went about creating mischief so that her writ runs large within the family.”
On RJD heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav’s role, she said, “He has always been helpful. I do not know what happened since yesterday. Whether he was aware or not of what was going on.”
“It is Misa Bharti who is trying to drive a wedge between the two brothers,” she added.
Ms. Rai had tied the knot with Mr. Tej Pratap in May last year and had maintained a silence even after her husband went to court seeking divorce six months later.
“Unfortunately, my father-in-law is not present here. He is the only one who could have sorted things out. It is Misa Bharti who does not want me to succeed in my efforts to save my marriage,” Ms. Rai said.
Lalu Prasad is serving sentences in a number of fodder scam cases in Ranchi for more than a year.
Ms. Rai’s father Chandrika Rai a several-term MLA currently belonging to the RJD was seen having heated exchanges with the security personnel, who were refusing him entry into the inner quarters.
“They are neither meeting us nor picking up the phone. I would have never agreed (for her daughter’s marriage with Tej Pratap) had I known things would come to this shameful pass,” he said.
No member of Prasad’s family or any RJD leader close to Lalu Prasad’s family was ready to speak on the matter even as the BJP attacked the former Chief Minister and his kin for having “humiliated such a respectable family.”