Lalu Yadav has been stepping in quite often for his older son, Bihar Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav, provoking endless jibes about "proxy" rule. Now, in a video clip that has been widely shared, the RJD chief is seen intervening when Tej Pratap threatens to sue a journalist. The occasion was a function in Patna to celebrate the 20th year of his RJD or Rashtriya Janata Dal.
Mr Yadav was on the stage with sons Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejaswi Yadav, who is Deputy Chief Minister. At one point, Tej Pratap was seen taking a camera from a journalist and examining it.
When he started clicking pictures, flashlights from several cameras went off. One journalist apparently took a cellphone video, which enraged Tej Pratap. He called the journalist over to the stage and demanded that he delete the video. "I will sue you for defamation!" Tej Pratap shouted at the journalist repeatedly.
Mr Yadav was seen trying to silence his son, saying: "Ho gaya (Let it be)!" Several journalists got up and made to walk out in protest against Tej Pratap's conduct. Mr Yadav then left his seat and tried to make nice with everyone, switching on his famous charm.
Mr Yadav, who cannot contest elections or hold public office because of his conviction in a corruption case, had negotiated top ministries for his sons after the Grand Alliance between his party, Nitish Kumar's JDU and the Congress won the Bihar election last year.
Tej Pratap, a political greenhorn, got the health ministry but it is his father who has been seen visiting hospitals for surprise checks and attending ministry events. The opposition BJP in the state took digs at the government saying Chief Minister Nitish Kumar should officially name Mr Yadav "Super Chief Minister", saying it is clear that the former chief minister calls the shots.