Congress cannot defeat BJP without taking regional forces along: RJD’s Chitranjan Gagan

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Updated: November 16, 2021 11:36 AM

RJD spokesperson and party general secretary Chitranjan Gagan said that the Congress remains a key force nationally but it cannot overcome the NDA juggernaut without taking along regional parties.

The RJD is the single largest party in the Bihar assembly with 75 seats while the opposition strength is 115, seven short of the majority mark 122. (PTI)

The Rashtriya Janata Dal of Lalu Prasad Yadav, which lost the recently held Bihar bypolls of Kusheshwar Asthan and Tarapur seats to the ruling JD(U), is keeping its head high, claiming that despite the defeat, it gave the NDA a run for its money. The election was crucial as the RJD was contesting the seats for the first time after separating from the ally Congress. Now the bypolls have concluded and the next big election in the state will be the Lok Sabha polls in 2024, and we surely haven’t heard the last on the RJD and the Congress settling their differences to keep the Mahagathbandhan intact. Speaking to FinancialExpress.com, RJD spokesperson and party general secretary Chitranjan Gagan said that the Congress remains a key force nationally but it cannot overcome the NDA juggernaut without taking along regional parties.

“We have never denied the importance of Congress. If we have to remove the BJP nationally, then the Congress will have an important role to play in that. But at the regional level, the Congress will have to accept the role of regional parties. I don’t think the Congress will be able to defeat the BJP without taking along the regional parties. Our leaders like Tejashwi Yadav and national president Lalu Yadav have been underlining the importance of Congress at the national level. Therefore, the Congress will have to think over it,” said Gagan,

Replying to the question of ‘Khela’ as claimed by Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav, Gagan said that many MLAs of the ruling alliance are still in touch with the RJD but the main opposition party is, at present, not looking towards achieving the magic number by taking along those legislators.

“The people of Bihar are with Tejashwi Yadav. In the last assembly elections (2020), the people voted to make Tejashwi a CM but Nitish ji came to power after foul play in the counting. Since people’s support is with us, we don’t believe in that kind of act (in toppling the government). This is true that many MLAs of Janata Dal (U) and BJP are in constant touch with us. The MLAs of JDU are now realising that Nitish Kumar’s popularity is waning and it’s not high as before. Now, they cannot become MLAs in Nitish ji’s name. They want to join the RJD after seeing the ground reality. However, we are not taking any initiative in that direction,” he claimed.

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Denying the claim that the RJD suffered a loss in bypolls due to Lalu Yadav’s campaigning, Gagan alleged irregularity in counting for the Tarapur seat as well as claimed that many videos went viral showing distribution of sarees, liquor and money to buy votes. He said that the RJD lost due to these unethical practices. “We have increased our vote share from what the Mahagathbandhan had got in the previous election. Despite the foul play, we kept fighting till the last over and gave a good fight. We are satisfied with our performance,” said Gagan.

The RJD is the single largest party in the Bihar assembly with 75 seats while the opposition strength is 115, seven short of the majority mark 122. The ruling NDA has taken its tally to 128 after winning both the seats that went to bypolls.

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