Patna: Amid speculation that the grand alliance in Bihar might collapse after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar pulling out his Janata Dal (United), leaders of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Saturday gathered at party supremo Lalu Prasad’s home in Patna for an emergency meeting convened by deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav.
Besides Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi, former chief minister, the meeting was attended by senior leaders, including members of the state legislature.
According to sources, Tejashwi Yadav told the leaders of the party present at the meeting that the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is “respectable” but there were many factors which were not under his “control.”
“CM Nitish Kumar was and is respectable. Many things are not under his (Nitish Kumar) control. RJD’s allies in the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ always respected the Chief Minister…” Tejashwi Yadav was quoted as saying by the sources. The sources further said that Tejashwi had also hinted at many unexpected developments in the state.
“The Chief Minister used to sit with me on the stage and ask, “What was there in Bihar before 2005?” I never reacted… Now, more people are with us. Whatever remained undone in two decades, we managed to get it done within a short time- be it jobs, caste census, increasing reservation, etc. ‘Bihar mein abhi khel hona baki hain’ (The game is yet to begin in Bihar) Yadav reportedly said.
Notably, the RJD is the largest alliance partner in the ‘Mahagathbandhan,’ which includes Congress and three Left parties and falls eight members short of majority in the assembly in the event of Kumar’s JD(U) pulling out.
In the Bihar Assembly of 243, the RJD has 79 MLAs; followed by the BJP’s 78; the JD(U)’s 45′ the Congress’s 19, the CPI (M-L)’s 12, two each of the CPI(M) and CPI, the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular)’s four seats, and the AIMIM’s one, plus one Independent legislator.
With the recent reports that the Bihar CM is poised to shift his allegience, the unity of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) – the 28-party Opposition bloc, formed to take on the BJP-led Central government- appears to be in jeoprady.
Nitish Kumar had after parting ways with the BJP in 2022, took on the initiative of uniting all opposition forces to jointly take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling party in the national election.