Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has once again hinted that the RJD and JD(U) are coming together. Raghuvansh said that BJP would lose if non-BJP parties were to reunite in Bihar as the Shiv Sena ditched the BJP and joined hands with the NCP and INC in Maharashtra. “There is no other option,” Singh said.
Singh said, “If non-BJP parties come together in Bihar on the lines of Maharashtra, the NDA will be defeated. There is no other way left.” He suggested that the RJD could succeed in defeating the BJP if the RJD were to behave in Bihar as the Shiv Sena did in Maharashtra. “That’s the formula to defeat the BJP,” he said.
For a long time, Singh had been advocating a reunion of the RJD and JD(U). He even said that Chief Minister and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar could switch camps anytime. He had said on an earlier occasion, “You know Nitish ji. He will certainly change course, but no one can predict when or what he will do. This has happened many times before. It is not surprising.”
RJD + JDU: Formidable combo with just one issue
The RJD-JD(U) combination gives the alliance a formidable lead in caste-ridden voting patterns in Bihar, where the BJP then begins with a mathematical disadvantage, with most OBCs led by the Yadavs vote en bloc for their caste representatives, as seen in the 2015 Assembly election.
Furthermore, the BJP lacks State leaders of the stature of Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav, notwithstanding the taint the latter suffers due to his conviction and incarceration for the fodder scam. While Bihar remains an economically backward State, voters by an large see Nitish Kumar’s rule better than what had been witnessed before him.
It was seen in the 2015 election that the Socialist Secular Morcha, the BSP, Muslim parties and the communist parties failed to garner enough votes to eat into the anti-Hindutva votes and thus help the BJP. The only issue with such a ‘mahagathbandhan‘ remains Nitish Kumar’s ego. Regardless of his inability to win elections, and his JD(U)’s poor strike rate vis-à-vis RJD’s or BJP’s, he stays in an alliance only when he is decidedly the numero uno in the government.
2015 Bihar election result
The next Bihar Assembly election is due in 2020.