Tejashwi expands RJD’s Muslim-Yadav focus, says it will now be BAAP | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Tejashwi expands RJD’s Muslim-Yadav focus, says it will now be BAAP

Feb 20, 2024 09:46 PM IST

Tejashwi Yadav, the younger son of RJD founder Lalu Prasad Yadav, has been keen to expand the support base for the party beyond the traditional MY combination

PATNA: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday gave a new, inclusive slogan for his party as he embarked on his 10-day Jan Vishwas Yatra during which he would travel across 38 districts of Bihar.

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav addressing a public meeting in Bhar on Tuesday (HT Photo)
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav addressing a public meeting in Bhar on Tuesday (HT Photo)

“Some people say RJD is MY party. RJD is not MY (Muslim-Yadav) party alone. Its base is much bigger and it belongs to people from A to Z. We have to tell them that our party RJD is not only (MY) party but also BAAP party,” he said at his first meeting in Muzaffarpur, explaining that the B stands for Bahujan in the acronym, A for agada (forward), A for aadhi abaadi (women) and P for the poor.

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Mai (MY) is a colloquial term used in Bihar to address one’s mother.

“We are people who unite, not the one who breaks. BJP wants to divide people,” Yadav said at his rally in Muzaffarpur.

Tejashwi, the younger son of RJD founder Lalu Prasad Yadav and widely seen as his political heir, has been keen to shed the Muslim-Yadav hyphenation for his party crafted by his father in the early 1990s to carve out the significant vote bank in his favour.

Muslims constitute around 17.7% and Yadavs 14.26 % of the state’s population of more than 13 crore. Their support was crucial in keeping RJD in power in the state for 15 years till early 2005.

Yadav’s outreach campaign ahead of the Lok Sabha polls comes three weeks after his party was ousted from power on January 28, when chief minister Nitish Kumar, in his latest about-turn, snapped ties with RJD and joined ranks with BJP to form a new government. Yadav was the deputy CM in the coalition government headed by Nitish Kumar from August 2022 till last month.

Tejashwi Yadav also attacked the chief minister.

“Nitish Kumar has no vision for the people of the state. He also had no justifiable reason for ditching us and going back to the BJP-led NDA. He thinks he can trample the people’s mandate,” he said.

“The people of Bihar have been showering their love on RJD, a reason why it has been the single largest party in the assembly for long. I am going to urge them that they support us even more strongly so that we can work for them,” Yadav said.

The RJD leader also took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan of “Modi ki guarantee” and dared him to guarantee that Kumar would not change sides again.

Meanwhile, the BJP dismissed RJD’s new slogan.

“They (RJD) turned Bihar into a banana republic and tried to create an atmosphere of fear among people. They took corruption to an all-time high. He (Tejashwi Yadav) had a chance to improve himself, but he didn’t. He should not fool the people with this yatra,” said deputy CM and BJP leader Vijay Kumar Sinha.

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    Vijay is chief of bureau, Patna. He has spent 21 years in journalism and covers political beats and public affairs.

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