A month after the results of the Bihar Assembly elections were declared, the main Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) now blames the Congress for the Grand Alliance’s defeat in the elections. The Grand Alliance fell little short of forming the government in the state. It could win only 110 seats in 243-member Bihar Assembly ~just 12 short of the magical figure required to form government in the state.
At a meeting of the RJD held today to review the party’s debacle in the elections, party leaders trained guns at their key ally, the Congress, for putting up a disastrous performance despite getting so many seats under the seat sharing arrangement. The Congress had contested 70 seats in the just-held elections but managed to win only 19 with its strike rate of roughly 27 per cent.
“We stopped short of forming government in the state because of the Congress. The Congress should seriously deliberate why it has been losing across the country and its base is dwindling,” RJD legislator Sudhakar Singh said.
Another party legislator Chetan Anand, son of jailed politician Anand Mohan, said the Congress didn’t go to the elections with proper strategy. “We would have been in power had the Congress won even 50 per cent of the seats it got under the seat-sharing deal,” Anand explained.
Quite many leaders blamed intra-party dispute for defeat of RJD candidates in the elections and said they worked against the party candidates after failing to get tickets. A senior RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui blamed absence of party chief Lalu Prasad for the party defeat saying none could match his charisma. “Laluji ki jagah koi nahin le sakta (None could match the political skills of Lalu Prasad),” Siddiqui said adding had the party president been out on bail during the polls, the scene would have been different.
Yet there were another section of leaders who looked reluctant to dig up old graves now that the elections are over and the masses had delivered their verdict against the Grand Alliance.
But party leader Tejashwi Yadav vowed to act tough against all those who worked against the party line declaring such elements would be sternly dealt with. He thanked the masses for their support. “It is no mean credit that we singlehandedly took on our rivals who included Prime Minister, chief minister, the government of Bihar and also the media,” Tejashwi said.