By Manoj Pathak
While the ruling party is engaged in turning the battle for Bihar Assembly elections 2020 as 15 years versus 15 years (15 years of NDA compared to 15 years of the RJD government), the main opposition party Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is targeting the Nitish government on the issues of corruption and law and order.
Riding on the success of the RJD as the largest party in the last assembly elections, party leaders are once again hopeful of emulating it. But the point to be noted is that in this election RJD President Lalu Prasad is missing and the entire responsibility lies on Tejashwi Yadav’s shoulders.
In Lalu’s absence, the controversy over the seat-sharing dispute in the Grand Alliance seems to be something that has left Tejashwi appearing clueless.
The Hindustani Avam Morcha and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), two major constituents of the grand alliance, have already deserted the coalition. Also, differences with old ally Congress over seat-sharing are yet to be resolved.
Clearly the leaders of the Grand Alliance are missing Lalu Prasad. Congress in-charge of Bihar Shakti Singh Gohil raised a question mark over Tejashwi and said that if Lalu were here, it would not have taken so long in taking a decision on seat-sharing.
The Bihar Congress in-charge also said that Tejashwi is a young face. People tend to mislead those who are less experienced. “It is already too late to decide on seat-sharing. Now the ball is in RJD’s court. Decisions should be made quickly.”
The Congress is a political party and is ready for every situation, he added.
There is no doubt that Lalu Prasad’s speech, style and charismatic personality had the ability to woo voters.
RJD spokesman Mrityunjay Tiwari agrees that Lalu Prasad’s charismatic personality made him stand apart from most politicians. He was perceived as the messiah of the poor. However, he said that the Congress should give up its tendency to be stubborn.
He said if the Congress provokes it, the RJD would not hesitate to retaliate.
By the looks of it, the way the dispute is going on in the Grand Alliance about seat-sharing, it won’t be easy for Tejashwi to repeat the success of the last Assembly election.
In the last election, the RJD, the Congress and the JDU had contested together. The situation has changed this time round. The JDU is with NDA and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s party is also with the JDU.
However, RJD’s opponents are now running down the Grand Alliance’s chances of success.
BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand says that there is no party left in the Grand Alliance. “Now there is only RJD that remains. People in Bihar won’t ever want the 15 years of RJD rule to return.”
Out of the total 243 seats in the state in the last assembly elections, the RJD emerged as the single-largest party by winning 80 seats while its ally JDU had to settle for 71 seats.