Is RJD heading for imminent split in Bihar?
Patna, Sep 17: Discontent brewing within the RJD, with senior leaders showering praise on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and reposed their "implicit faith" in the JD(U) strongman.
"Tejashwi is in touch with forces in the BJP who have been opposing Nitish Kumar's leadership in the NDA. He will not succeed as people of the state want Kumar to continue as the chief minister," party MLA Maheshwar Yadav said.
He also claimed that a majority of RJD MLAs want to contest assembly elections in alliance with the JD(U).
"Tejashwi is losing his grip in the party. I am aware that around two-third RJD MLAs want to contest the Assembly elections under the leadership of Kumar. I will soon form a new group with the support of RJD MLAs who want to join hands with the JD(U)," Yadav said.
Voices of dissent
Voices against Tejashwi Yadav have been rising after the RJD-led grand alliance suffered a humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.
A section in the grand alliance including the Congress and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), led by Jitan Ram Manjhi has already expressed their disagreement over Tejashwi Yadav being declared as the chief ministerial candidate by the RJD.
Manjhi had said that he was ready to take up the top post again if the RJD-led Grand Alliance of the opposition parties gets a majority in the Assembly polls slated for next year.
Manjhi's comments were a clear message that the issue of the chief ministerial candidate is not yet decided in the grand alliance and contrary to its ally RJD's claim that Tejashwi Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav's son, is the chief ministerial candidate of the alliance.
Manjhi is among the most senior leaders of the grand alliance after RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is in jail in connection with the muti-crore fodder scam.
Question over Tejashwi's leadership
Ever since the drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections, questions have been raised on the capability of Tejashwi to lead the alliance. While the Congress, two other constituents Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) of Upendra Kushwaha and Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP) of Mukesh Sahni have said that they are with Tejashwi.
Manjhi said that Tejashwi, who is also the leader of opposition in the Assembly, lacks the experience to lead an alliance government.
Manjhi's remark has brought the differences in the Grand Alliance leaders to fore over the chief ministerial candidate. His remarks didn't go down well with the RJD which taunted him for being in a hurry to assume the chief ministership.
Lok Sabha debacle
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) could not manage to win even a single seat in the wake of modi wave that swept across the Hindi heartland.
The BJP-led NDA won a thumping victory in Bihar getting 39 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats. While the RJD, the main opposition party in Bihar, drew a blank.
It was the first time that the RJD failed to win a single seat in Lok Sabha polls in Bihar, which is regarded as a party bastion. In 2014, RJD won 4 seats despite the Modi wave.
During the 2015 Assembly elections, the RJD had won 80 seats while the JD(U) and the Congress could wrest 71 and 27 seats respectively in the 243-member House. The BJP could win merely 53 seats.