News Karnataka
Thursday, June 08 2023

Alarm bell ringing for NDA despite Bihar bypolls win: RJD

Tirupati LS by poll starts off on smooth note
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Patna: Despite not winning the two Assembly bypolls in Bihar, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has said alarm bells are ringing for the NDA government in the state.

A party leader said that the RJD had contested the bypolls to Kusheshwar Asthan and Tarapur bypolls alone for the first time in several years.

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav had taken a strong decision of putting the Congress aside.

“The RJD has had a long-term alliance with the Congress since Lalu Prasad emerged as a national leader in 1990. He contested all elections in alliance with the Congress. On one occasion in 2010, the RJD broke the coalition with Congress but contested the election with the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP),” the party leader said.

The RJD never contested election from Kusheshwar Asthan. It had always given the seat to the Congress. In the 2010 Assembly polls, the party had given the seat to the LJP.

Despite that, it put an impressive performance, with its candidate only losing by a margin of 12,000 odd votes but its vote percentage at 36 per cent – two per cent higher than what Congress candidate Ashok Ram got in 2020 Assembly elections.

In Tarapur, RJD candidate Arun Shah lost the seat to Janata Dal-United candidate Rajiv Kumar Singh by a narrow margin of 3,800 votes. In 2020, the margin of defeat between RJD candidate Diyva Jyoti and then JD-U candidate Mewalal Chaudhary was 7,200 votes. Then, the RJD candidate could only garner 32.8 per cent votes, while this time it got 44.35 per cent.

The RJD gained political ground among other sections apart from its traditional Muslim-Yadav (MY) vote bank.

In Kusheshwar Asthan, RJD gained 36 per cent votes of all communities, while the MY constitutes only 25 per cent. Similarly in Tarapur, the party has gained 44 per cent votes, against the constituency’s 26 per cent MY voters.

Tejashwi Yadav’s decision to separate the party from Congress may open the gate for him to join other forces like the LJP-Ram Vilas or Mukesh Sahani’s VIP.

In the 2020 Assembly elections, the RJD faced pressure from the Congress and gave it 70 seats, though it was not even ready to concede 50.

According to a top official of the party, the RJD came under pressure of Congress’ assurance of Muslim votes. Tejashwi Yadav wanted to allocate the seat to Mukesh Sahani’s VIP but as Congress demanded it, RJD had to give way.

In 2021 bypolls, as the Muslim community eluded Congress again, and its candidate lost badly, being unable to even save his deposit.

Tejashwi Yadav could try other options like LJP-Ram Vilas. He is exploring prospects of joining hands with Chirag Paswan who has a traditional vote bank in backward class communities in Bihar.

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