NEW DELHI: The Janata Parivar alliance hasn’t been going according to the script. If a few senior RJD leaders expressed reservations about Nitish Kumar as the combine’s Chief Ministerial candidate, the JD(U) members met at Nitish’s Patna home to discuss whether the alliance was at all possible or beneficial.
Amid this war of nerves, Congress Bihar incharge C P Joshi said: “Like them, we too want to resolve the differences. Mulayam Singh should bring his influence to bear on the two leaders (Nitish and Lalu Prasad)”. “He should ensure that an anti-BJP alliance comes through in Bihar. We want the Left parties, as well, to join it,” Joshi told Express.
Joshi’s stand is in stark contrast to that of state Congress chief Ashok Choudhury, who favours an exclusive alliance with the JD(U), rather than a JD(U)-RJD-Congress combine.
Joshi said: “No discussion has taken place. The fact remains that we support the JD(U) Government in Bihar, of which the RJD is also an integral part. Where does the question of ‘either-or’ arise?”
“The local leadership can entertain any view, but the final decision will be taken by the high command,” he said. Joshi added that his party was waiting for the JD(U) and the RJD to iron out their differences. There’s no denying that social tensions exist between the JD(U) and the RJD. The fact that the Yadav community had ruled the roost in Lalu’s heyday at the expense of others like Mahadalits was one of the reasons why the Janata Parivar merger wasn’t formalised and the parties decided to contest the upcoming Assembly polls on their own symbols.
The partial ebbing of the Modi wave also deepened the divide within the JD(U) and the RJD, said social scientist Abhay Kumar.
While the temperatures within the two camps rose, Nitish met Prime Minister Narendra Modi ostensibly to clinch funds for his state, triggering speculation that the JD(U) could be open to any post-poll understanding.
On the other hand, a JD(U)-RJD alliance would depend not just on the number of seats each party would get, but also on which side would lead the combine.