After Jharkhand Loss, Saffron Party Is To Keep Nitish Kumar Happy
PATNA: Buoyed by the success of the JMM-led alliance in Jharkhand of which his party was a part, RJD president Lalu Prasad on Wednesday gave a call to workers to toil “four times” harder back in Bihar, where assembly polls are due in less than a year.
The message of Prasad, who is in Ranchi serving sentences in fodder scam cases, was relayed by his younger son and heir-apparent Tejashwi Yadav, who met his ailing father at a hospital in the Jharkhand capital where the former Bihar Chief Minister the former Bihar Chief Minister has been admitted on health grounds.
“The Jharkhand poll outcome is bound to have its impact on Bihar. Lalu ji has this message for our men in Bihar: work four times harder than you did in Jharkhand,”Tejashwi, who has been declared as the RJD’s chief ministerial candidate, told reporters upon emerging from the hospital.
He also aimed a jibe at Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) national president Nitish Kumar over his many volt-faces in the recent past, saying Jharkhand has witnessed political instability since its inception because on most occasions, unlike the present one, people have given a fractured mandate. But Bihar has been politically unstable despite coalitions getting a majority, he said.
With the BJP suffering a crushing defeat in the Jharkhand elections after its separation from the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU), the party leadership in neighbouring Bihar today insisted that its alliance with Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United remains strong and unaffected by differences over seat-sharing.
“The NDA is united in Bihar, and there are no differences over seat-sharing. Our alliance is led by five-time Chief Minister Nitish Kumar,” tweeted Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi.
Significantly, he also praised Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Hemant Soren – who is set to lead the alliance government in Jharkhand – even if it was only to put down the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Tejashwi Yadav.
“The Mahagathbandhan’s leadership is not in the hands of a person who is educated, simple and polite like Hemant Soren, but with a young man who has been charged with 54 benami property cases at the age of 29,” Mr Modi further claimed in his tweet.
The Congress-JMM combine scored an impressive victory in Jharkhand in the just-concluded elections, bagging 47 seats as compared to the BJP’s 25 and the AJSU’s two. Even as the results were coming through, Tejashwi Yadav – who is also the leader of the opposition in the Bihar assembly – hinted that it would have a cascading effect on the assembly elections next year.
Besides Jharkhand, the BJP also suffered a massive loss in Maharashtra last month after the Shiv Sena ended their 30-year-old alliance after differences over sharing the chief minister’s position on a rotational basis. After the latest defeat, Janata Dal United spokesperson Sanjay Singh warned the BJP against pushing its luck with allies. Even Shiromani Akali Dal leader Naresh Gujral said that a bulk of the ruling party’s allies were “unhappy” over issues like the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
However, BJP MP Ramkripal Yadav rejected suggestions of dissent among allies in Bihar, saying that the extraordinary work done by Nitish Kumar would ensure the coalition’s return to power next year.
For now, the party leadership in Bihar has resolved to keep the Janata Dal United in good humour at all costs. BJP leader Giriraj Singh – who had clashed with Nitish Kumar during the Patna floods earlier this year – has been told to not make any controversial statements on the Citizenship Amendment Act or the NRC, and the party is wary of the Janata Dal United seeking a bigger slice of the seat-sharing pie ahead of the polls.
(Bureau Report With Agency Inputs ).