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Nitish Kumar Puts on Brave Face, Says JD(U) Has Bounced Back After Bypoll Debacles in Past

In the by-polls on five assembly seats in Bihar, JD(U) could win only at Nathnagar. It held four of the five seats, before its legislators winning general election and moving to Lok Sabha.

PTI

Updated:October 25, 2019, 5:46 PM IST
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Nitish Kumar Puts on Brave Face, Says JD(U) Has Bounced Back After Bypoll Debacles in Past
File photo of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has put a brave face on JD(U)'s drubbing in the by-polls, saying his party is replete with by-election debacles followed by spectacular performance in the state polls shortly afterwards. He accepted the mandate saying voters are "maalik" (masters).

In the by-polls on five assembly seats in Bihar, JD(U) could win only at Nathnagar. It held four of the five seats, before its legislators winning general election and moving to Lok Sabha.

Main opposition RJD bagged two assembly seats- Simri Bakhtiarpur and Belhar- Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM gained a toehold in the state clinching Kishanganj, while the Daraundha assembly segment went to an Independent.

BJP lost the Kishanganj, the only seat where it had fielded its candidate. The NDA, however, scored an easy victory in Samastipur (SC) Lok Sabha constituency where Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan's nephew Prince Raj defeated Ashok Kumar of the Congress by over 1 lakh votes.

The seat had fallen vacant following the death of Paswan's younger brother and two-term MP Ram Chandra Paswan.

"The electorate are our maalik (masters). What more should I say? Moreover, our history is replete with by-poll debacles followed by a spectacular performance in assembly elections shortly afterwards", Kumar said late Thursday wearing a broad smile.

His terse comment came when he was approached by a group of journalists seeking his reaction on the by-poll results. On Friday, the JD(U) came up with the comment that it suspected faulty selection of candidates and complacence on part of the cadre was responsible for the partys debacle in the by-elections, results of which were announced on the previous day.

JDs Bihar unit chief Vashishtha Narayan Singh said here that a report has been sought on the partys performance in the by-election, which saw the JD(U) losing three of its four sitting seats and winning one by a slender margin. He asserted that "action will be taken" on the basis of the inputs.

Singh echoed Kumar's view while asserting "our track record has been such that we have bounced back after every by-poll debacle. So we see no need to worry on account of what happened yesterday though there is no room for complacence.

"Wherever it is found that the selection of candidates was faulty or workers were complacent (during by-polls), accountability will be fixed and action taken", he added.

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, a senior BJP leader, had also come out with a lengthy post on Twitter highlighting the NDAs drubbing in by-polls to 18 assembly segments in 2009 and the coalition bouncing back the following year with a stunning victory in assembly elections when it won more than 200 seats in a 243-strong House.

The defeat for the NDA coming barely five monthgs after its studendous performance in the Lok Sabha elections has triggered debate if things would be alright for the ruling coalition when it goes to assembly election in Bihar next year.

NDA, comprising JD(U), BJP and LJP had won 39 of the total 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. Congress, part of the Grand Alliance, had registered victory in the muslims dominated Kishanganj seat.

The by-poll outcome could create problem for the JD(U), the BJP's senior partner in the state ruling coalition, as it could give an opportunity to a section of the saffron party leaders to strongly raise the demand for a greater share in the electoral pie in 2020 assembly polls.

Some senior BJP leaders had openly pitched for a saffron party leader as the next chief minister given its exponential growth over the last few years before party chief Amit Shah declared a few days ago that the NDA will go to the hustings in Bihar next year under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

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