After dismal performance, Lalu's party may break ties with Congress
In Bihar, the RJD-Congress mahagathbandhan was supposed to stall BJP's rise, but it failed miserably. While RJD failed to open its account, Congress won only one seat. After the devastating performance in Lok Sabha polls, the knives are out. Some RJD leaders have suggested it would be best to break ties with Congress. However, the party is yet to take a stand. Here's more.
JD(U)-Congress-RLSP-HAM-VIP joined hands to stop Narendra Modi's juggernaut in the state. During electioneering, the opposition leaders spoke about Modi's failures and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's "poor governance". None of the topics resonated with voters as NDA won 39 out of 40 seats in Bihar. This was RJD's worst-ever performance since 1997. In 2009 and 2014, RJD won four seats each.
Reacting on the staggering defeat, RJD's Jagdanand Singh, who was fielded from Buxar, said, "We are unable to comprehend how we could not win a single seat when there were expectations that RJD alone would win 11-12 seats." He said Araria's defeat was shocking as RJD won by-polls from there by a margin of 2 lakh votes. Singh said EVM tampering is an issue.
Separately, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, who got a ticket from Darbhanga, said a "better coordination" among allies could have helped. "All allies did not have synergy and faith in each other. The defeat is, certainly, a time for us to introspect and reinvent our strategies," Siddiqui said. However, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, the national vice-president of RJD, took a tougher stand by slamming Congress directly.
"The emphatic win of the BJP and out defeat is a reminder that regional forces should now come together to form a single party by severing ties from the Congress. That is how we can stop the NDA in Bihar and other places," Singh said.
On its part, Congress saw the bright picture. Sadanand Singh said Congress contested on nine seats, and at least won one. Other allies drew blank, he said. He claimed Congress stood by RJD during testing times, but they were given a raw deal, nevertheless. Responding to Singh, RJD's Shivanand Tiwary said since Congress is a national party, they should have cemented a strong opposition.
"Will they even blame RJD for the failure of Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, or their poor performance in Rajasthan? Look at the way BJP behaved. In order to incorporate Nitish Kumar in NDA, they gave five seats from their own quota," Tiwary said.
The staggering defeat has, naturally, worried RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is in jail for corruption cases. His sons -- Tejashwi and Tej, failed to rise up to the occasion casting doubts on the party's future. Lalu, once a formidable force in Bihar, has reportedly stopped taking lunch after polls results were announced. Doctors said Lalu isn't talking much either.