PATNA—Will “Mahagathbandhan” or Grand Alliance survive in Bihar or the allies are simply playing pressure politics?
The million dollar question is being hotly debated in Bihar after at least three Grand Alliance (GA) partners, such as Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and Vikashseel Insan Party (VIP) have begun speaking a lot against the RJD which heads the Opposition alliance.
Of them, the RLSP led by former union minister Upendra Kushwaha and HAM headed by former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi have been routinely attacking the RJD for one issue or the others.
They have basically two grievances—first, the RJD is refusing to form Coordination Committee and secondly, it has unilaterally declared Tejashwi Yadav as GA’s chief ministerial candidate against Nitish Kumar.
The main question, however, is the surging chief ministerial ambitions of both Manjhi and Kushwaha, experts say. While Manjhi has already served as the chief minister for a brief period, thanks to Nitish Kumar, Kushwaha has made his chief ministerial ambitions clear at repeated intervals.
But, the RJD has been taking no notice of them given their performance in the recent LS polls where they put up a disastrous performance. This, has annoyed them very much.
The problem for these leaders is that there is just no space for them in the NDA as three parties are already engaged in seat struggle while the RJD is not taking their claims for more seats very seriously.
So, Kushwaha and Manjhi find themselves caught in a critical situation. The only hope for them, according to informed sources, is the Congress which has lent its support behind behind but there is very little chance of the Congress choosing the grouping of rebel leaders over the RJD which has significant support base.
The Congress is well aware of the fact that defeating the BJP-led NDA is more important than increasing its number of seats. And, this could be possible only with the support of the RJD.
The common men too are simply divided between the NDA and the RJD-led Opposition alliance in Bihar, and hence there is very little chance of the third alliance getting the support of the masses in the next elections.
So, even if the Grand Alliance disintegrates, the RJD will indeed be the main vote catcher given its track record of not switching sides after every elections unlike Manjhi and Ksuhwaha.