RJD bargains Shahabuddin seat for Left Front’s support in 2019 Lok Sabha elections
The reaching out to CPI-ML is part of Lalu’s strategy to ally with the entire Left phalanx , including CPM and CPI in Bihar, besides the ML group.india Updated: Dec 07, 2017 07:23 IST
In a desperate bid to cobble up a broad opposition alliance for the 2019 general elections, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), has offered the Siwan and Ara parliamentary seats to the CPI(ML) despite fighting the Left group bitterly over the decades.
While Ara (Bhojpur), an RJD stronghold in Bihar assembly and parliamentary politics, had elected the first Naxalite and CPI(ML) candidate Rameshwar Prasad to Parliament in 1989; Siwan is the pocket borough of incarcerated former MP, Mohammad Shahabuddin, whose wife Heena contested in 2015 but lost to BJP as CPI(ML) ate into the RJD’s ‘secular’ votes.
Even the idea of the offer of these two seats has taken political circles by surprise for the fact that in Siwan, the CPI(ML), Liberation had been the sole party to challenge Shahabuddin’s might, in the process of which, many of its leaders, including former JNU students union president Chandrashekhar were killed in strife with the ex-MP, who has over 40 cases arraigned against him. The Chandrashekhar case is still being heard.
The move also shows some desperation in RJD ranks and a major concession to CPI(ML).
RJD chief Lalu Prasad, his wife and former CM Rabri Devi elder daughter Misa Yadav and two of her sisters, besides Prasad’s sons, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap are already under the scanner of the income tax, CBI and enforcement directorate. Prasad’s fodder scam hearings are still continuing in a special CBI court in Ranchi and the question mark over the political future of the two sons, under the circumstance, is what has agitated the leadership.
The reaching out to CPI-ML, the lead Left group in Bihar with three assembly seats, is part of Lalu’s strategy to ally with the entire Left phalanx , including CPM and CPI in Bihar, besides the ML group.