The Rashtriya Janata Since Sunday has announced its candidates for the by-election segments of the assembly of Tarapur and Kusheshwar Asthan of Bihar, in what is seen as an affront to Congress, its minor ally, which wants to contest one of the seats.
The two-seat by-elections, which were won by Prime Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD (U), were made necessary by the death of those in office.
Unlike the NDA, which presented a cohesive framework two days ago when the leaders of all constituents jointly announced the coalition candidates, the RJD, which leads the five-party Grand Alliance, declared the candidates with none of the partner by his side.
Kusheshwar Asthan, a reserved seat in Darbhanga district, was contested by Congress in assembly polls last year when it lost the seat by a margin of less than 7,000 votes.
Although the party has so far expressed no reaction on the development, Congressional sources said there were plans to field Ashok Ram, the candidate in the assembly polls, or some close family member.
RJD sources said the decision to contest both seats followed the “sad” performance of Congress in the assembly halls when it fought with 70, won less than 20, and was blamed by all partners for the lack of majority of the Grand Alliance.
Meanwhile, the BJP has unveiled another version of the development that is likely to strain Congress-RJD ties. “The RJD is nervous about Congressional attempts to get out of its shadow by luring people like Kanhaiya Kumar,” BJP spokesman and national secretary general of the party’s OBC wing Nikhil Anand said in a statement.
“The RJD, by announcing its candidates for both seats, killed two birds with one stone. He showed Congress his place in the state and also avoided any possibility of Tejashwi and Kanhaiya sharing the stage during the secondary polls, ”Anand said.
The perceived rivalry between Tejashwi Yadav and Kanhaiya has been the subject of much speculation in political circles in Bihar. It is widely believed that Yadav is not very uncomfortable with the former JNU student leader, who belongs to an upper caste and is known for his crowd-pulling abilities.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, when Kanhaiya was deployed by the CPI from his hometown Begusarai, the RJD named one of its veteran leaders Tanveer Hasan, who caused a split in anti-BJP votes and aided the Union Minister. Giriraj Singh to win the seat with a staggering margin of over four lakhs of votes.
The RJD was said to have opted for the move as it was wary of Kanhaiya breaking into the national political scene with an electoral victory, which would help wash away the stain of the sedition case that was his first chance to hit the headlines.
Both the CPI and the Congress are junior partners of the RJD in Bihar. However, in Congress, the fiery young leader is expected to gain much wider exposure than would have been possible in the moribund left party.
[ https://www.dainikviral.com/blog/rjd-announces-candidates-for-both-seats-in-bihar-bypolls-congress-snubbed/ https://d26toa8f6ahusa.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/30214746/a-quiet-place-part-2-bigs-16.pdf