Lalu's calculation goes haywire

Lalu's calculation goes haywire


In the 2004 polls, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) secured 30.7 per cent votes. His alliance partners, the Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) and the Congress, got 8.2 per cent and 4.5 per cent votes respectively. Together the three United Progressive Alliance constituents polled more than 43 per cent votes and bagged 29 out of 40 Lok Sabha seats. The NDA had to remain content with merely 11 seats.
The scene reversed in 2009. An overconfident Lalu erred by deserting the Congress midway. A divided UPA helped the National Democratic Alliance make a clean sweep as the saffron alliance, riding piggyback on Nitish’s good governance, reaped a rich harvest of Lok Sabha seats.
This includes the victory of Janata Dal -United nominee and former Bihar chief minister Ram Sundar Das from Hajipur, who defeated the Lok Janashakti Party supremo Ram Vilas Paswan. Deccan Herald was arguably the first national newspaper to have carried a report on April 21 that Paswan was on a losing streak.
Why Paswan lost?
Paswan’s defeat was not at all surprising given the fact that the angst against him was quite perceptible in the entire constituency.
The voters termed him a “rank opportunist” who spewed venom on Lalu for almost five years and, then, to save his seat, he joined hands with his bete noire after elections were announced.
Besides, he was also held responsible for the Assembly elections being held twice in 2005.
“Paswan did not support the Rashtriya Janata Dal to form a government in February 2005. As a consequence, elections were held again in October 2005 and the Rashtriya Janata Dal was wiped out. Now to retain his seat, he has joined hands with Lalu, which is sheer opportunism,” was the common refrain.
The “unholy alliance” with Lalu Prasad Yadav spelt doom for the man who had won from Hajipur seven times since 1977.

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