It's loss of face for Nitish as RJD romps home in Jokihat

It's loss of face for Nitish as RJD romps home in Jokihat

RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav flashes the victory sign after the party's victory in Jokihat Assembly by-polls, in Patna on Thursday. PTI

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) continued its winning streak after its candidate from Bihar’s Jokihat Assembly constituency, Shahnawaz Alam, defeated JD(U) nominee Murshid Alam by 41,224 votes.

The by-poll result was significant in the sense that the JD (U) had never lost the Jokihat seat since 2005. But with a direct contest with the RJD, particularly after Nitish Kumar dumped the Grand Alliance partners (RJD and Congress) and joined hands with the BJP-led NDA, the JD(U) had to bite the dust for the first time in the last 13 years.

More significant is the fact that Nitish’s JD(U) has not won a single by-election ever since he dumped the GA in July 2017 and formed his government with the help of the BJP.

“It’s people’s victory. I thank them for reposing faith in us. It’s also a victory of Lalu-waad (Laluism) over opportunism. And it’s a defeat for those who distributed 2 lakh swords during Ramnavami and tried to disturb communal harmony,” said Leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Yadav.

“The JD(U) men always claimed that the RJD and the Congress got votes in 2015 Assembly polls on the basis of Nitish’s face (read: good governance). But it has been proved once again that it was Lalu’s base (read: vote bank) which actually fetched votes for the JD(U) in 2015. The voters are now angry with Nitish and not in a mood to forgive him for dumping GA and joining the NDA. It’s high time Nitish should go to Raj Bhavan and submit his resignation before apologising to the people for hijacking the mandate of 2015 Assembly polls,” said Yadav.

Lashing out at Nitish for using all the dirty tricks to stay in power, Tejashwi said, “Nitish chacha (Uncle) has no principles or ideology. On the one hand, he will talk of clean politics, while on the other, he will give a ticket to a person in Jokihat who has been charged with rape, loot and murder. Similarly, once he said he will make ‘Sangh-mukth Bharat’ (in reference to RSS). Next year, he joined hands with the BJP. In the Assembly, he once said he would prefer to be decimated but won’t ever join hands with the BJP. However, soon he joined hands with Modi who once questioned his DNA.”

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