Saffron Wind Blows Away Lalu-Nitish
In a jolt to the much touted RJD-JDU-Congress alliance in its first test ahead of the Assembly polls, the BJP-led NDA won 12 of the 24 seats in the Legislative Council elections, results of which were declared recently.
More embarrassing for the JDU- RJD-Congress alliance was that it could manage only 10 seats whereas BJP emerged victorious in 11 seats, its ally LJP won at one place.
Ruling JD (U) won at five places while its partner RJD secured 4 seats and Congress one.
An Independent candidate, Ritlal Yadav, who is lodged in Beur jail, has won the Patna seat. Another Independent candidate, Ashok Kumar Agarwal, has won from Katihar. It is alleged that Yadav in Patna was surreptitiously supported by Lalu’s RJD. This means said a political commentator, that while Nitish and Lalu have shaken hands but their hearts haven’t reconciled.
Whatever it might be, the poll result is a severe setback to the attempts of RJD, JDU and Congress who have decided to come together in the state to defeat the BJP-led NDA.
Earlier, of the 24 Legislative Council seats, 13 were with JD(U), BJP 5, RJD 3 and Independent 3. As per seat-sharing arrangements in Secular alliance, JD(U) and RJD fielded candidates on 10 seats each while Congress put up its nominees at three places and NCP one.
In the NDA camp, BJP had fielded candidates at 18 places, LJP of Union minister Ramvilas Paswan 4 and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) of Union minister of State Upendra Kushwaha at two. Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), an ally of BJP, which contested two seats, won none. NCP of Sharad Pawar, alloted one seat in Katihar, also drew a blank.
BJP claims that poll outcome is a clear reflection of accumulated anger among the people against the JD(U) government and more so against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
But, Nitish Kumar said the election outcome did not reflect people’s opinion as only a limited number of voters participated in it. The fact however is that the result is good enough to affirm that while in their chambers Nitish and Lalu joined to fight BJP, but at the ground their Yadavs and Kurmis communities respectively have not ended their traditional rivalry.