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Not Rift, It’s Strategy: Tejashwi Yadav on Why He Has Been Absent From Rahul Gandhi's Rallies

Taking a swipe at NDA's display of togetherness, Tejashwi Yadav said being together was their compulsion as none of them alone could fetch a crowd of even 1,000.


Updated:April 22, 2019, 6:22 PM IST
Not Rift, It’s Strategy: Tejashwi Yadav on Why He Has Been Absent From Rahul Gandhi's Rallies
File photo of RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. (Photo: PTI)

Patna: With his absence from Congress president Rahul Gandhi's rallies in Bihar triggering speculation of a rift in the Mahagathbandhan, RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav on Monday dismissed the conjecture and asserted he would share stage with Gandhi in the state in coming days.

He attributed this to part of strategy so that leaders of the grand alliance cover more places during campaign. Gandhi addressed four election rallies so far in the state in Purnea (on March 23), Gaya (April 9), Katihar (April 10) and Supaul (April 20), but Tejashwi Yadav did not share the stage with the Congress president which was taken as a signal of fissure within the opposition alliance.

“I will definitely share the stage with him (Rahul Gandhi) and you will see it in the coming days. This is a part of strategy that we (leaders of Grand Alliance) should cover more and more places during election campaigning,” Yadav told reporters here.

To present a picture of unity, prominent leaders of the alliance constituents were present at the press meet.

Besides, Tejashwi Yadav, RLSP chief and former union minister Upendra Kushwaha, HAM(S) president and former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, Bihar Congress head Madan Mohan Jha, senior Congress leader Akhilesh Prasad Singh, RJD MP Manoj Jha, RJD Bihar unit president Ram Chandra Purvey and a representative of Mukesh Sahni's Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP) sat together.

Sahni was not available because of his engagement as polling will be held Tuesday in Khagaria from where he is contesting as a grand alliance candidate.

The same thing was being said during the 2015 Bihar assembly polls as to why Lalu Prasad, Rahul Gandhi and Nitish Kumar were not sharing the stage, Yadav said adding that even at that time it was the same strategy that the three leaders cover more and more assembly segments during campaigning.

It was said at that time that Gandhi, who tore an ordinance during the UPA rule against disqualification of a convicted politician from contesting election, wanted not to be seen with the RJD supremo, who ultimately was debarred from fighting polls.

Taking a swipe at NDAs display of togetherness with Nitish Kumar, Ram Vilas Paswan and Sushil Kumar Modi addressing rallies jointly in Bihar, the leader of opposition in Bihar assembly said being together was their compulsion as none of them alone could fetch a crowd of even 1,000.

On JD(U) national president's presence during Prime Ministers rallies in Bihar, Yadav said Kumar knows it very well that if he does not go to PMs rally, then the BJP people will start doubting if he would switch side again.

BJP leaders should take an undertaking on affidavit from Kumar that he would not cross over because he is master in switching sides, the RJD leader said while cautioning BJP leaders that even the RJD in Grand Alliance had offered JD(U) the same number of 17 seats as given by the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. But, RJD and JD(U) fought the last general election separately.

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