The Janata Dal (United) decision to stay away from the upcoming UP assembly elections seems to have not only given the opposition BJP an opportunity to take swipes at the ruling party but also brought to fore the “rift” within the ruling Grand Alliance (GA) in Bihar.
Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said JD(U) had decided to pull out from the UP poll arena “owing to the threat of RJD chief Lalu Prasad and the Congress to review the alliance in Bihar.”
“JD(U) buckled under pressure of its GA allies, the RJD and the Congress. It also reflects how JD(U) has accepted its marginal base in UP despite having made efforts to make inroads in various pockets for the last many months,” said Modi. He also pointed out how the Samajwadi Party and Congress had ignored JD(U) in stitching up an alliance in UP.
RJD leader Bhai Birendra said the JD(U) had wasted resources by trying to create a euphoria of entering the poll arena in the neighbouring state despite having a marginal base there. “The JD(U) rallies in UP last year were mostly attended by hired people,” he said.
The RJD leader’s comments evoked strong reactions from JD(U)’s state spokesperson Neeraj Kumar, who insisted that the party’s decision was taken to avoid any division of “secular votes” in UP. Kumar also dismissed the opposition’s allegations of buckling under pressure from allies. “Our party works on principles and not under any pressure or advice from others,” he said.
Some Bihar Congress leaders also said JD(U) should not feel bad after pulling out of UP’s electoral arena knowing well how it fared in the previous elections there.
JD(U) had contested a large number of seats in 2012 UP elections but failed to win any.