Tejashwi Yadav not the automatic choice for CM face for RJD allies in Bihar
HAM chief and former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi had cast doubt over Tejashwi’s leadership qualities after the alliance was routed in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and had floated his own name for the chief ministerial position should the alliance win next year.Updated: Dec 11, 2019 20:57 IST
A day after RJD unanimously declared Tejashwi Yadav as the party’s CM face, its allies refused him an automatic approval as the grand alliance’s chief ministerial candidate for the assembly elections next year. Partners lost no time to dub Yadav’s choice as premature.
Apart from projecting Tejashwi, the open session of RJD national council had also named Lalu Prasad party’s national president for the 11th consecutive term on Tuesday.
Congress, the second major alliance partner in the five-party grouping, said Tejashwi’s elevation was RJD’s internal matter and the party high command will take a decision on such “policy matters” at an appropriate time.
Party leader and MLC Prem Chandra Mishra said “every party has a right to make decisions in their best interest. Though we are a part of the grand alliance, any matter involving a policy issue has to be vetted by the Congress high command.”
A sizeable section in the grand old party is also divided over continuing the collaboration with the RJD.
Another RJD ally, Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) spokesperson Danish Rizwan said Tejashwi can be RJD’s CM candidate but the alliance’s CM candidate will be decided during the meeting of the partners.
HAM chief and former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi had cast doubt over Tejashwi’s leadership qualities after the alliance was routed in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and had floated his own name for the chief ministerial position should the alliance win next year.
The RJD had unilaterally announced four candidates for the five-seat assembly by-polls in October upsetting HAM, VIP (Vikasshil Insan Party) and RLSP (Rashtriya Lok Samata Party) resulting in HAM and VIP putting up their own rival candidates and the RLSP staying away from the by-polls.
The poll results, however, re-established RJD as the primary opposition force in Bihar, making Tejashwi’s projection as Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s challenger easier.
“Congress, HAM and other partners should support the young leader,” said RJD MLA Vijay Prakash.
This insistence, combined with the efforts to expand the scope of the grand alliance by roping in the Left parties, is likely to make the job of presenting a united face all the more difficult, said a leader in the NDA camp.