By Arun Srivastava
Voices of rebel demanding resignation of Tejashwi as the leader of opposition have started gaining momentum inside RJD. The senior leaders of the party who till other day were appreciative of his moves and held him as the future of Bihar, have started finding fault with him and his style of functioning.
The schism has acquired a nasty dimension and dynamics. Some leaders are even not on talking terms. Lalu Yadav in jail does not prevent his prevent his aides and family members from celebrating his 72 nd birth day. But to the astonishment of his supporters, no official celebration was held. While Rabari Devi as usual wished him long life, his elder son Tej Pratap celebrated the day with some of his close friends. Other senior leaders organized the celebration at their own places.
The occasion simply underlined the message that Lalu has lost his relevance even during his life time. Unwilling to be an witness to this nature of isolation and decline of the party most of the senior leaders, who along with Lalu Yadav had shaped the party have, preferred to withdrew from the political scene.
Most of them confide that the decay and disintegration that faces primarily owes to the family feud. Accusing fingers are not only being directed towards Tejashwi, even Misha Bharati the daughter and elder son Tej Pratap of Lalu Yadav are at the target of the rebels. None had ever imagined that RJD the pocket organization of Lalu would face such nature of deterioration after its debacle in the Lok Sabha election.
The three men committee headed by senior leader Jagdanand Singh, formed at the high level meeting of the party, has blamed the leadership of losing the trust of the core support of the party. The committee underlined that dalits, extremely backward castes and the section of the upper castes who belonged to the core group of supporters did not rally behind during the elections. The other two members of the committee were the general secretary, Alok Mehta and senior leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui.
Some dalit and backward leaders joining the mahagathbandhan could not motivate the common dalits and extremely backward castes voters. A feeling gripped them that the party was for promoting the interest of yadavs only. No serious effort was made by the leaders of the allies to reach collectively to the voters. IN fact the opposition of the RJD top leaders’ to the NDA giving 10 per cent reservation to the poor from upper castes simply backfired. It was perceived as Yadavs were averse to their empowerment.
The committee was of the view, though the constituents of the mahagathbandhan claimed of smooth functioning of the alliance, the fact was everyone was acting at crosspurposes. RJD offering disproportionate number of seats to some constituents has turned the people suspect of the intentions of the leadership. Some senior RJD leaders and even family members were skeptical of allotment of the tickets. RJD humiliating the Congress leadership on the issue of seat sharing has simply corroded its own base. The worst was the rebellion by Tej Pratap. His public criticism of his younger brother Tejashwi was not appreciated by the Bihari voters. They were cynical of the future role of the RJD. Tej Pratap had opposed two candidates of RJD, one of which was his father in law.
For Lalu the defeat at the 2019 Lok Sabha election was more severe shock than being incarcerated in fodder scam. The defeat symbolizes Lalu turning irrelevant to his own supporters and losing his stature and authority. Defeat has come as a rude shock to the person who dictated the political discourse of the state for nearly four decades. Lalucould not withstand the shock that his RJD drew a blank in Bihar.
Even during the “Modi wave” of 2014, RJD had managed to win four Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. In 2015 assembly election, RJD in alliance with JD(U) and Congress emerged as the single largest party with 80 MLAs. Little doubt the defeat 2019 symbolises the end of Lalu Yadav era in Bihar politics.
No doubt Tejashwi failed to perform the task of a leader and highlight the correct political issues, he miserably botched the strategy to reach out to the dalits and extremely backward castes. (IPA Service)