NEW DELHI: Even as Tejashwi Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) fought hard to emerge as the single-largest party in the Bihar polls, another poor showby its ally Congress spoiled Mahagathbandhan’s chances of reaching the magic figure of 122 seats in 243-member Assembly on Tuesday.
Till the last updates, the grand old party was struggling to match up even to its 2015 tally of 27 seats.
According to the Election Commission data, the Congress was set to win 20 of the 70 seats it has contested, while its allies Left parties were leading on 18 out of their stipulated 29 seats.
With the trends showing another setback for the Congress, many in the Grand Alliance said if Tejashwi had not given in to the Congress demand and part with a generous 70, the alliance could have done better.
After the seat distribution of the Grand Alliance, many Congress leaders had flagged that some of the seats were dominated by the upper caste and they will be in a direct fight against the BJP.
The party’s chances would have been better had they contested against the JD(U).
A senior Congress leader in Bihar said the party had also delayed in announcing its candidates, alleging that many senior leaders were denied tickets and parachuted Luv Sinha, son of actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, and Subhashini Yadav, daughter of Sharad Yadav.
Moreover, last-minute plannings, less effort to expand the party’s reach, and appointments at district and state-level committees days before the elections had further dented the party’s revival hopes.