Rashtriya Janata Dal (United): Is a new party coming up in Bihar?


Patna,(BiharTimes): With the announcement by the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad to give unconditional but outside support the Jitan Ram Manjhi government in Bihar stage is almost set for a political realignment of a total different type in Bihar. Enough hint was dropped by the Janata Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav a couple of days back. But the RJD chief then downplayed it.

This is an unthinkable development as the Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar was, till recently, dead against Lalu Prasad’s outfit. Be it in 2005, 2009 or 2010 it was the Janata Dal (United)-BJP alliance which got the mandate against what they call ‘the Jungle Raj” of Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi. It is other thing that while throwing the BJP out of alliance Nitish claimed that it was he and not the saffron party, which got the mandate. But the recently held Lok Sabha election showed how fragile the Janata Dal (United) is without the BJP.

During the campaign for the Lok Sabha election Nitish repeatedly urged the voters to fire ‘teer’ (arrow), the symbol of RJD, in such a way that it smashed the lantern as in this era of “sufficient electricity one does not need it”.

But just before the trust votes Nitish Kumar, Sharad Yadav and Jitan Ram Manjhi have, in a way, sought the support of the same party to survive for the next one and a half years. They have shown utter disregard for the people’s mandate of 2010, which was not in favour of the RJD, but for the NDA.

The RJD, on its part, has been left with no option whatsoever. True it won three of the five Assembly by-polls recently and the number of its MLAs has once again risen to 21––notwithstanding the resignation by Samrat Chaudhary, Jawaid Eqbal Ansari and Ram Lakhan Ram Raman––yet the party has failed to win any extra seat in Lok Sabha election this time. Like 2009 it once again ended up winning just four seats though in alliance with the Congress and NCP it managed to get about 30 per cent votes, which was much more than the RJD-LJP alliance.

But the party has at present just one single goal. Though Lalu said that there is no pre-condition for supporting the Manjhi government the truth is that he wants at least one seat in Rajya Sabha for his family so that the bungalow in Delhi could not be taken away. He fielded both Rabri Devi and daughter Misa Bharati in the Lok Sabha poll as he was not sure of the victory of both––in fact both have lost.

Since the bungalow occupied by Lalu as Saran MP till September last year––he has lost his Lok Sabha membership after being convicted––will be taken away the RJD chief will lose his base in Delhi to do national politics. That is why in exchange for support to Jitan Ram Manjhi government he may bargain Rajya Sabha berth either for Rabri Devi or for that matter daughter Misa Bharati.

But if Nitish agrees to this demand this would amount to the most unprincipled stand in the state politics. In number game the Manjhi government may survive even without the support of the RJD, but still it is seeking support of this party as the Janata Dal (United) fears that some of its legislatures may ditch the party in days or months to come.

Now that the JD(U) has openly sought support from the arch-rival RJD––in the name of fighting Narendra Modi––how can Nitish now say that he is a man of principle who resigned after taking the moral responsibility for the defeat.

If today he is taking the support of Bade Bhai Lalu Prasad what is wrong if JD(U) and RJD merge and a new party Rashtriya Janata Dal (United) is formed.

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