Buoyed by win, Cong may drive a hard bargain

Buoyed by win, Cong may drive a hard bargain

Buoyed by the spectacular victory in the three States of Hindi heartland, the moribund Congress in Bihar has got a new lease of life. It now wants to pull up its socks, end factionalism, and put up a united fight for the reversal of fortunes.

“The Congress being a national party, with a presence in almost every State, we need to take along our regional allies together. We understand the strength and mass base of RJD in Bihar. But the regional outfit should also treat Congress on equal footing. After all, any battle with the BJP-led alliance has to be fought under the leadership of Congress-led alliance,” said the working president of the Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) Kaukab Quadri.

Without naming anyone, the Congress leader averred that his party should not be treated like a ‘B’ or ‘C team’ of a regional outfit. “Time has come to arrive at a respectable seat-sharing formula where all the constituents of the Grand Alliance, including the RJD, Congress, Left parties (CPI, CPM and CPI-ML), Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM, Sharad Yadav’s LJD and possibly Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP, are given their due share. ‘Samman-janak samjhauta hona chahiye’ (Seat-sharing should be respectable),” the Congress leader told Deccan Herald, indicating that party may drive a hard bargain to extract its pound of flesh.


Riding piggy-back on its old dependable ally RJD, the Congress could not get a foothold in this part of the cow-belt ever since it was ousted from power in 1990.

It won two Lok Sabha seats during 2014 parliamentary elections. When it entered into an alliance with the JD (U) and the RJD during the 2015 Assembly polls, it won 28 seats out of the 40 Assembly constituencies it contested.

In 2019 parliamentary polls, the grand old party intends to play a major role in bringing all such forces under its umbrella which are inimical to the BJP. “Kushwaha and Jitan Ram Manjhi are two allies who have deserted NDA in the last four years. Wait for some time. Chances are even the LJP might desert the NDA’s sinking ship and join the mahagatbandhan,” opined Congress legislator and one of the AICC spokespersons Prem Chandra Mishra here on Wednesday.

The RJD is looking at Congress ascendance with cautious optimism. “The big win in three states of Hindi Heartland has increased Congress’ stocks nationally. But it will have to take along its time-tested allies where ever they have their presence,” opined RJD vice-president Tanveer Hasan.

Tejashwi Yadav, the leader of the Opposition in the Bihar Assembly, suggested that Congress should allow its regional partner in the driving seat of Grand Alliance if the grand old party intends to take the BJP head-on.