Jharkhand Poll Result Sends Ripples Through Political Waters of Bihar as Assembly Elections Inch Closer
Lalu Prasad's RJD erupted in joy over the triumph of the JMM-led alliance, in which it is a minor partner, as it kindled hopes of replicating the success in Bihar where assembly elections are less than a year away.
Lalu Prasad Yadav. (Image: Reuters)
Patna: Results of the assembly polls in Jharkhand sent ripples through the political waters of Bihar, the parent state out of which the tribal-dominated region was carved out in 2000, capping a movement that had continued for close to a century.
Lalu Prasad's RJD, once formidable but down in the dumps for some time, erupted in joy over the triumph of the JMM-led alliance, in which it is a minor partner, as it kindled hopes of replicating the success in Bihar where assembly elections are less than a year away.
At the party's state headquarters here on the Birchand Patel Marg, RJD workers began distributing sweets no sooner than the trends started pouring in and chanted slogans vowing to help Tejashwi Yadav their young chief ministerial candidate for Bihar, who had been actively involved in electioneering in Jharkhand to power.
The party relished the thought of being a part of the winning combination in the adjoining state, even though its own strike rate was far from impressive - winning only one out of the seven seats it had contested.
Shivanand Tiwary, RJD national vice president exuberantly said "why not" when asked by reporters if the party would like to join the new government in Jharkhand.
He termed the victory as "defeat of the BJP's jingoistic politics" and questioned its "duplicity" on the matter of National Register for Citizens, "which has put the country on the boil".
"The BJP's official twitter handle says it has country-wide implementation of NRC on its agenda. So does its president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. But, Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday dismissed it as something off the radar. Why is the PM lying before the nation?" Tiwary asked.
The Congress - an alliance partner of the RJD both in Bihar and Jharkhand - was also buoyed by the poll outcome in the neighbouring state. Leader of the legislative party Sadanand Singh, who has headed the Bihar Congress in the past, advocated "all non-BJP forces, including Chief Minister Nitish Kumar" to heed "the need for coming together to defeat the BJP".
Kumar, who is running a coalition government with the BJP, has been drawing opposition flak after his party voted in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Act, which allegedly discriminates against Muslims.
He has, however, attempted damage control by asserting that he is opposed to NRC as its "combo" with CAA was what made the new law troublesome.
The BJP, which has been on a roll for quite some time and a section of its leaders desirous of putting an end to playing second fiddle to Nitish Kumar, appeared chastened and sought to downplay its defeat in Jharkhand by attributing it to "local factors".
"The result of Jharkhand must be viewed with reference to local factors and the agony of people because of unfulfilled individual grievances. The state government worked really well but failed to communicate well to the public. The party will assess the whole situation and scenario in coming days.
"The Jharkhand result will have no impact on Bihar because the demography and geography is completely different in both the states," Bihar BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand said here in a statement.
The NDA government is working hard towards the development of Bihar, and "we are sitting pretty well to win the 2020 assembly election comfortably", he added.
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