Cracks in Bihar grand alliance: Jitan Ram Manjhi says RJD leadership lacks experience, should have backed Kanhaiya Kumar

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Published: June 26, 2019 8:39:48 AM

In the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP-led NDA won 39 of the 40 parliamentary seats in Bihar. The Congress, a constituent of the grand alliance, won just one seat. Congress' Kishanganj candidate Mohammad Jawed defeated his nearest JD(U) rival Mahmood Ashraf by a thin margin.

Jitan Ram ManjhiJitan Ram Manjhi said that the grand alliance should have included the Left parties. He said that the RJD decision to field Hassan against Kanhaiya Kumar from Begusarai was a mistake.

A month after suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of BJP-led NDA in the general elections, the grand alliance comprising RJD, Congress, HAM, RLSP and VIP in Bihar is showing signs of breaking up. On Monday, Hindustani Awami Morcha chief Jitan Ram Manhji criticised the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) for its failed leadership. He said that the decision not to include the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in the alliance was a mistake.

Majhi said that the RJD leadership lacks experience, a remark directly aimed at RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav who was spearheading the poll campaign of the Mahagathbandhan. He said that the RJD should not have fielded anyone against CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar from Begurasai. He said that had the grand alliance backed Kanhaiya, he would have definitely pocketed Begusarai which is still called the Leningrad of Bihar.

“Leaving the CPI-M out (of grand alliance) was a mistake,” Manjhi who himself lost from Gaya constituency to BJP’s Hari Manjhi by over 2 lakh votes, said.

Alluding to differences in the coalition, he said, “Different types of animals climb on to a tree during floods… The same is true for the Grand Alliance which came together for the elections. Now all its members are singing their own tunes.”

The RJD had fielded Tanweer Hassan from Begusarai against BJP’s Giriraj Singh and CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar. The RJD was expecting consolidation of Muslim and Dalits votes and division of Bhumihar votes between the BJP and Left candidates. However, Giriraj Singh who adopted a hardcore Hindutva line defeated both Hassan and Kanhaiya by a massive margin. Giriraj Singh secured 6.92 lakh votes against Kumar’s 2.69 lakh votes and Hassan’s 1.98 lakh votes.

The CPI, on the other hand, was hoping that its decision to field Kanhaiya Kumar, a local of Begusarai, will help revive the party in the region which is moribund. Former JNUSU president Kanhaiya had who shot to fame in 2016 after he was booked for sedition by Delhi Police for raising anti-national slogans within the premises of the centre-run University.

In the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP-led NDA won 39 of the 40 parliamentary seats in Bihar. The Congress, a constituent of the grand alliance, won just one seat. Congress’ Kishanganj candidate Mohammad Jawed defeated his nearest JD(U) rival Mahmood Ashraf by a thin margin.

Meanwhile, Manjhi who comes from the Musahar community said that his party will hold a protest on Wednesday against government negligence that led to over 200 deaths due to the encephalitis and heat wave. The HAM and other constituents of the grand alliance did not participate in a similar state-wide protest held by the RJD. RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav was himself missing from his party’s protest.

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