Bihar Assembly elections 2020: Fresh jolt to Tejashwi Yadav’s CM ambitions by RJD’s ‘all-weather ally’

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Updated: July 20, 2020 12:52 PM

The RJD has been projecting Tejashwi as the CM face of the grand alliance which comprises five political parties -- RJD, Congress, RLSP, HAM and VIP.

Lalu’s party RJD has declared Tejashwi Yadav as the grand alliance’s CM face. (file pic)

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav has filed to gather consensus over his name as the chief ministerial face of the Grand Alliance for the Bihar Assembly elections 2020. Amid opposition to his bid by other constituents of the Mahagathbandhan, Bihar Congress working president Kaukab Quadri also reservations over RJD projecting Tejashwi as the chief ministerial face of the grand alliance. In an interview with The Indian Express, Quadri said Tejashwi Yadav’s name will surely be discussed by the constituents, but only after the elections.

The RJD has been projecting Tejashwi as the CM face of the grand alliance which comprises five political parties — RJD, Congress, RLSP, HAM and VIP. All the grand alliance constituents have disapproved Tejashwi’s leadership and pressed for a change, a demand categorically turned down Lalu’s party.

“Our priority is to defeat NDA first. RJD as the biggest party in the grand alliance has every right to project Tejashwi Prasad Yadav as its CM face but Grand Alliance leaders can discuss it in a post-poll situation. Tejashwi will be surely discussed as the possible choice but our main objective is to ask the NDA and Nitish Kumar what they have done in the last three years,” Quadri, party’s prominent minority face, said.

He said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar owes answers to the people over the Covid-19 mismanagement in the state. Let him provide enough oxygen cylinders and ventilators before “harping on good governance”, he added.

Quadri further said that the parties within the grand alliance have not engaged in seat-sharing talks yet. On RJD claiming that it will contest over 150 of the 243 Assembly seats, he said Congress’ alliance with RJD is a foregone conclusion and “we are inseparable because the two parties can not only consolidate Muslim-Yadav votes of about 30% but Congress can bring in additional votes from upper castes and other sections”.

“Some Congress leaders may be trying to put pressure on the party because of personal reasons but the alliance is the need of the hour,” he said.

To a question about the possibility of an RJD-Congress-LJP alliance, the Congress leader said that Ram Vilas Paswan’s party is resorting to a pressure tactic to extract maximum number of seats to contest in the NDA.

“Let them first dump NDA, we can surely consider the possibility of an alliance with them,” he said.

On RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha, HAM chief Jitan Ram Manjhi’s fitting in the Grand Alliance, he said that all these parties have to be part of the grand alliance on the terms of the RJD and Congress.

“These parties have not proved themselves… they can surely fill some dots,” Quadri said.

He also suggested that elections in the state could be delayed and take place in February-March next year in view of rising coronavirus cases. He, however, said it is the domain of the Election Commission to take a final call.

Bihar will go to polls in October-November later this year. Opposition parties led by the RJD have demanded thet the elections be deferred and President’s Rule imposed in the state in view of the Covid spread in the state.

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