Cong-RJD mahagatbandhan set to collapse

Cong-RJD mahagatbandhan set to collapse

 RJD's Tejashwi Yadav along with other Mahagathbandhan leaders speaks during a press conference at which RLSP leader Upendra Kushwaha joined the grand alliance, at AICC in New Delhi. (PTI File Photo)

With Lalu Prasad recuperating at a Ranchi hospital and Congress gasping for breath, the RJD-led Mahagatbandhan in Bihar is on the death-bed. The Congress on Tuesday indicated that the Mahagatbandhan may collapse in the days to come as the Grand Alliance formed on the eve of Lok Sabha polls proved to be a non-starter.

“The Mahagatbandhan in Bihar was formed for the Lok Sabha elections. Now that the parliamentary polls are over, it’s not necessary that the same alliance would contest the 2020 Assembly elections in Bihar. Each and every party is free to chart out its own action plan,” said senior Congress legislator and AICC media panellist Prem Chandra Mishra here on Tuesday. Without naming JD (U), he added that if the situation so arose, Congress may tie-up with other like-minded parties.

The original Mahagatbandhan in Bihar was formed in 2015 when the Congress, JD (U) and the RJD joined hands thereby giving a crushing and decisive defeat to BJP during November 2015 Assembly polls. However, after Nitish defected to NDA, a fresh Mahagatbandhan was formed before Lok Sabha election which had the RJD, Congress, Upendra Kushwaha-headed RLSP, Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM and Mukesh Sahni’s VIP, under one roof.

Meanwhile, the first sign of cracks in Mahagatbandhan was witnessed a couple of days back when Manjhi declared that his fledgeling outfit would contest next year’s Assembly election in the state on its own “as there was no coordination in the Mahagatbandhan.” He blamed the RJD leadership for making the Grand Alliance ineffective and infructuous.

The Leader of the Opposition and Lalu’s heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav is also on long sabbatical and has stayed away from active politics ever since the RJD, the single largest party in the Vidhan Sabha, drew a blank in the Lok Sabha election.

Meanwhile, the RJD has not taken kindly to Manjhi’s threat. “Anyone is free to leave Mahagatbandhan,” said Bhai Virendra, Lalu’s key aide, aware of the fact that Manjhi had been flirting with Nitish Kumar’s JD (U).

In the meantime, the Congress, which had earlier voiced its concern over riding piggyback on RJD, is buoyed over Sonia’s elevation as party chief and has insisted on resurrecting the grand old party.