Cong not ready to accept Tejashwi as CM candidate

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav

Ahead of the 2020 Assembly elections in Bihar, the bonhomie between the Congress and its alliance partner RJD seems to have gone for a toss. Shortly after the national executive committee of the RJD declared Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly, Tejashwi Yadav, as its chief ministerial candidate for the next year Assembly elections, the Congress has expressed its displeasure as well as disagreement on the issue.

“Tejashwi has been declared the chief ministerial candidate of the RJD, not the Congress,” said senior AICC media panelists and party MLC Prem Chandra Mishra. “Each and every party has a right to project its CM candidate. This is an internal matter of the RJD. It has nothing to do with the Congress,” Mishra told Deccan Herald.

“RJD is a regional party where decisions are taken in Patna. Congress is a national party where such decisions (on alliances) are taken by the party high command in New Delhi,” said Bihar Congress chief Madan Mohan Jha, dropping ample hints that the grand old party was not comfortable with the new blood in the RJD.

The close ties between RJD and the Congress have nosedived since early this year when the two alliance partners could not stitch a winnable seat-sharing formula within the Mahagatbandhan. The Congress, which has been riding piggyback on RJD for the last two decades, managed to scrape through in one Lok Sabha seat out of 40 parliamentary constituencies in Bihar, while the RJD drew a blank. The NDA won the remaining 39 seats in the State.

“Ever since the Mahagatbandhan received a drubbing during the Lok Sabha polls, much water has flown down the Ganga. A new chapter needs to be written in terms of fresh alliances,” said another Congress veteran Shakeel Ahmad.

Congress’ angst stems from the fact that many party leaders have held Tejashwi responsible for the disastrous performance of Mahagatbandhan during the parliamentary polls.

“The Congress leaders are entitled to their opinion. But the fact is the RJD has projected Tejashwi as its CM candidate for 2020 Assembly polls and we will emerge triumphant,” argued Lalu’s key aide and RJD legislator Bhai Virendra.

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