The opposition in Bihar, that faced severe drubbing in Lok Sabha polls, seems to be bogged down with too many ideas with regard to the strategy for the assembly polls next year when it will face the formidable NDA once again. A veteran RJD leader and former union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh on Friday again called for a merger of all the regional parties in the Mahagathbandhan, a view that has few takers even in his own party.
Mahagathbandhan comprising five parties won only on one Parliamentary seat in Bihar out of a total of 40 seats. Hindustani Awam Morcha, a smaller constituent, reacted with sneer with its spokesman Danish Rizvan remarking that "merger is a good idea. We would welcome it if RJD and other constituents agree to merge with HAM".
Notably, HAM founding president Jitan Ram Manjhi, a former Chief Minister, has been threatening the Grand Alliance that he may walk out and go it alone in the assembly polls if his demands, which throw a spanner in the way of RJD heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav's chief ministerial ambitions, are not accepted. Manjhi has been raising the demand that the grand alliance, in the event of a victory in the polls, should have two Deputy CMs besides chief minister and these posts should be held by one candidate each from the extremely backward classes, the Scheduled Castes and the minorities.
The formula suggested by Manjhi virtually rules out the possibility of accepting the leadership of the younger son of Lalu Prasad, or any other member of his family which controls the RJD, who belong to a powerful OBC caste, which dominated politics in Bihar for three decades in the Mandal era. Yet another idea was recently floated by RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha, a former NDA constituent, who switched sides less than a year ago that the grand alliance should be expanded to include other entities like the Left parties.
The Congress in-charge for the state Shaktisinh Gohil expressed in-principle agreement with Kushwaha's proposal when the two met at the BPCC headquarters here recently. The Left parties, no longer a major force in the state, have so far evinced little interest in the proposal.
Congress MLC Prem Chandra Mishra has warned about the lurking threat to the grand alliance from a recently formed front of a number of disgruntled leaders, which will benefit only the NDA. The Bihar Navnirman Morcha was formed a fortnight ago by former state ministers Narendra Singh and Renu Kushwhaha, previously with JD(U) and BJP respectively, and former RLSP MP from Jehanabad Arun Kumar.
Speculations are rife that Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav may join the front as he has been disowned by the grand alliance and spurned by the NDA. "All these leaders who have formed the Morcha, as well as those who are expected to join, wield influence in their respective areas. The social equation is such that if they enter the fray, they will cut into the votes of the grand alliance and benefit only the NDA. Something needs to be done about it, said Mishra..
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)