Winter of discontent begins for Mahagatbandhan in Bihar

Winter of discontent begins for Mahagatbandhan in Bihar

The Congress has taken umbrage at Tiwary’s ‘audacity’

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. Credit: PTI

Even as Bihar is shivering with the mercury dipping to four-degree Celsius, tempers are running high in the Opposition camp amid winter of discontent among the alliance partners. The fresh bone of contention is the aspersions cast by RJD national vice-president Shivanand Tiwary on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi after the former remarked that “the Congress heir apparent fails to inspire confidence in public and has no traits of a full-time politician.”

The Congress has taken umbrage at Tiwary’s ‘audacity’ and asked Tejashwi Yadav to expel Tiwary from the RJD.

“Rahul has never shown any inclination or traits of a full-time politician. He has also failed to inspire confidence in the public. Only those with vested interests want him to become the Congress president,” said Tiwary, a former Rajya Sabha member, who has worked closely with both Lalu Prasad as well as Nitish Kumar.

Tiwary also advised Sonia Gandhi to give up ‘putra moh’ (affinity for her son) and prepare a new leadership which could take the BJP head-on.

This is the second occasion since November when the RJD vice-president has slammed Rahul Gandhi in public. Shortly after the Bihar election results were announced, and the Mahagatbandhan narrowly missed to form the Government, Tiwary had made scathing remarks against the Congress in general and Rahul in particular.

“While Narendra Modi was busy campaigning for Bihar election, Rahul was having a picnic at his sister Priyanka’s house in Himachal Pradesh,” Tiwary had slammed the former Congress president last month.

“Tiwary’s statement is uncalled for and unwarranted. He is speaking the BJP language, or preparing the ground for his entry into the BJP,” senior Congress legislator Prem Chandra Mishra told Deccan Herald here on Sunday. “Such statements by alliance partners will only weaken the Mahagatbandhan. Tejashwi should take note of Tiwary’s statements and show him the door,” Mishra added.

Shivanand Tiwary, however, clarified that his statement was not read in the right spirit. “Today democracy is in danger. Congress is one organisation which has an all-India presence and could take the BJP head-on. It should put its house in order, inspire people and fight the ruling dispensation tooth and nail,” said Tiwary, while speaking to Deccan Herald here on Sunday.