RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s backing of Nitish Kumar as the chief ministerial face of the Janata Parivar may have ended the political uncertainty in the state but the decision seems to have not gone down well with the party’s second-tier leadership.
The ifs and buts over the success of the secular formation were points of debate in political circles here on Tuesday.
Although party spokespersons supported Lalu’s decision as it was the only way to stop the BJP, his older colleagues still feel it risks annoying the party’s traditional voters, especially Yadavs. And this could have a disastrous impact on the polls were the Yadavs to drift towards the BJP.
“We may have lost the battle before the war. The BJP will gain now,” said a senior RJD leader.
Another RJD leader and MP said the JD(U), with a depleted vote share, never had a chance of winning sans the tie-up – a reason why Lalu could have stood firm on not projecting Kumar as the CM.
The JD(U) had gained 16% votes in the 2014 parliamentary polls by winning just two seats whereas the RJD, with a 22% vote share, had won four. Party insiders also feel Lalu could ask for over 130 seats to contest, along with a bigger share in ministerial berths, were the alliance to win.
“We have identified 210 seats that can be won on the Muslim-Yadav combination, with an additional 5,000-7,000 votes from different caste groups. This is why the RJD should get more seats,” said another senior leader, who also refuted the perception that the Yadavs would drift towards the BJP.