RJD heading for imminent split in Bihar?

RJD heading for imminent split in Bihar?

Several party leaders have expressed their displeasure over the style of functioning of Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav. Photo/PTI

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar is apparently heading for an imminent split as several party leaders have expressed their displeasure over the style of functioning of Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav. These RJD leaders, many of whom are senior legislators, have showered encomiums on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and reposed their “implicit faith” in the JD(U) strongman.

“More than 80 per cent of the RJD MLAs are fed up with Tejashwi Yadav. These MLAs are ready to split the RJD and will support Nitish Kumar very soon,” said veteran RJD MLA Maheshwar Yadav here in the state capital on Monday.

The RJD has been a divided house over the issue of backing Nitish. While two national vice-presidents of the RJD, Shivanand Tiwari and Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, have been consistently extending an olive branch to Nitish urging him to rejoin the Mahagatbandhan, Tejashwi has, however, slammed the door on the JD(U) chief.

“More than two-thirds of RJD MLAs are ready to support Nitish. Soon, I will meet the Speaker and ask him to recognise the breakaway faction of the RJD as a separate group in the Assembly,” said Maheshwar Yadav.

During the 2015 Assembly elections, the RJD had won 80 seats while the JD(U) and the Congress could wrest 71 and 27 seats respectively in the 243-member House. The BJP could win merely 53 seats.

“There is a larger conspiracy to dethrone Nitish. While one faction of the BJP led by Giriraj Singh is opposed to Nitish, the other faction in the BJP headed by Sushil Modi is standing by Nitish like a rock. Tejashwi has joined hands with the Giriraj faction and wants early Assembly elections in Bihar, which is originally slated for November 2020,” the rebel RJD MLA said.

The Congress too has expressed its reservations over the leadership of Tejashwi and said it won’t agree with the projection of Lalu’s son as the chief ministerial candidate for next year’s Assembly polls. “Effort should be made to rope in Nitish back in the Mahagatbandhan so that the BJP could be given a crushing and decisive defeat,” averred Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader in the Assembly, Sadanand Singh.

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