Patna: Taking the Bihar assembly by-polls debacle on the chin, Chief Minister Nitish Kumars JD(U) on Thursday sought to draw succor from the past when the party had made a comeback after a similar setback. The party, which lost four of the seats it held and managed to win one by a whisker, also asked the opposition Grand Alliance to hold its horses.
It pointed out that the victory of Hyderabad-based All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen of Asaduddin Owaisi in Kishanganj demonstrated that the RJD-Congress combine no longer enjoyed the unflinching support of the states Muslims. The peoples mandate is supreme and we bow before that. But we recall that in 2009 we had similarly lost in the assembly by-polls only to emerge stronger than ever before in the Vidhan Sabha elections held the following year, JD(U) spokesman Rajiv Ranjan Prasad said here.
That is not to say that we intend to gloss over the by-polls outcome. We will review our partys performance thoroughly and identify the shortcomings that may have been there in our ability to communicate to the people our governments achievements, he said. As far as the opposition camp is concerned, they would do well not to celebrate too early. In a Muslim bastion like Kishanganj the AIMIM has pulled off a surprise victory beating the Congress candidate who had the RJDs full backing.
This makes it clear that the combine can no longer take support of the minority community as a given, he added. Reacting to demands by some opposition leaders that Kumar should resign taking moral responsibility for the poor showing of his party, the JD(U) spokesman countered Why not first ask RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav to resign as the leader of the opposition in the state assembly? He (Yadav) was made the deputy CM by Nitish Kumar and occupies his current position despite being the youngest and least experienced legislator of his party. It was just five months ago when the RJD reached its nadir in the Lok Sabha polls achieving a big zero when even the Congress succeeded in winning at least one seat, Prasad remarked.
Of the five seats where by-polls were held, four were held by JD(U) and one by the Congress. The by-polls were necessitated by the election of incumbent lawmakers to the Lok Sabha earlier this year The JD(U) could win only Nathnagar seat. It lost to an Independent - Karanjeet Singh alias Vyas Singh in Daraundha assembly constituency. The RJD, which had drawn a blank in the Lok Sabha polls, the party's worst-ever performance since its inception 22 years ago, made a comeback of sorts when it wrested Simri Bakhtiarpur and Belhar from the JD(U) by impressive margins.