The rout of the Rashtriya Janata Dal in the general elections this time has not only come as a shocker for the party but could also spell trouble for Tejashwi Yadav. The young leader of the opposition in Bihar is the man who steered the campaign for his party and the entire Grand Alliance coalition, as his father, RJD chief Lalu Yadav, is incarcerated and was denied bail for the elections.
While there are indications that the party would not entirely blame the 29-year-old Yadav scion for the RJD’s and the Grand Alliance’s worst performance in Lok Sabha polls in recent times, the chances of internal squabbling and coalition cracks in the coming days cannot be ruled out. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, RJD had won four seats in Bihar.
Tejashwi, who is quite active on the social platform Twitter, where he takes potshots at the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, did not post any message about the emphatic win of Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the opposition alliance’s poor show, as the results came in on Thursday.
“It would be wrong to blame any one particular reason or leader for RJD’s loss. Bihar’s results should not be seen in isolation but weighed in the national scenario, where the BJP-led NDA has done well. But, we still believe that these results are unrealistic, because RJD, which won Araria and other seats in the by-polls a year ago, lost the seats this time. We will introspect on the reasons behind our debacle and take measures,” said RJD’s national vice-president Shivanand Tiwary.,
Many feel that the RJD, having played the central pole in cobbling an opposition alliance with the Congress, Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, and the new outfit Vikassheel Insan Party to make a formidable combination against the BJP and Janata Dal (United)-led NDA, would have to take a big share of blame for failing to ensure the vote transfers of the traditional voters of the combination, mainly the Yadav-Muslim votes and Scheduled Caste votes among all allies in 40 seats.
“Tejashwi’s role as a star campaigner would be questioned. These results have proved that he still does not have the charismatic persona and vote transferring capability of his father Lalu Prasad. The results once again prove that the RJD continues to remain heavily dependent on Lalu and his absence had led to the party’s complete rout,” said a senior GA leader, wishing not to be quoted.
Observers feel that the results are a dampener for Tejashwi’s ambition to become chief minister in the 2020 assembly polls, with chances that GA allies might demand to project a more ‘mature face’ as a CM candidate to counter the JD(U) veteran Nitish Kumar. There were murmurs against Tejashwi during the ticket distribution when the party’s former member of Parliament MAA Fatmi was denied a ticket from Madhubani. Fatmi later left the party.
RJD’s poor show could also intensify the sibling rivalry between Tejashwi and elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav, who has already started projecting himself as the true heir apparent of the RJD chief. “Tejashwi now faces the challenge of keeping the party intact and also handle the internal feud in the family, especially his elder brother Tej Pratap’s rebellious posturing, which already damaged the party’s poll fortunes in many ways,” said an RJD leader.
However, RJD spokesperson Chittaranjan Gagan maintained that the party was solidly behind Tejashwi and the RJD would perform well in coming polls. “These election results look unrealistic and we still suspect there was some manipulation in EVMs,” said Gagan.
May 24, 2019 11:45 IST
Article source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/lok-sabha-elections/lok-sabha-elections-results-2019-rjd-rout-puts-tejashwi-yadav-under-pressure-ahead-of-bihar-assembly-polls/story-5o77LsC2pzWtoCtMir1HxM.html