After its defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, the Bihar unit of the Congress wants to snap ties with the RJD as it believes Lalu Prasad’s support base did not translate into votes for the party. Lalu himself said his party’s alliance with the Congress would continue in the state.
The Congress contested 12 seats, while the RJD fought 27 and the NCP one. The Congress’s vote share was eight per cent; the party won two seats — Kishanganj and Supaul — and was second in eight and third in three.
The Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee, which held an assessment meeting on Wednesday, was almost unanimous on snapping ties with the RJD. Most leaders suggested that the party should either go it alone in the 2015 assembly elections or explore a tie-up with Nitish Kumar. They said that the Congress had got a higher vote share —10.26 per cent — in the 2009 elections when it had contested alone.
A senior leader said: “We lost safe seats such as Sasaram, where Meira Kumar contested. It means Lalu’s votes did not get transferred to us. We need to rework our strategy.”
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The Congress had extended support to the JD(U) after Nitish snapped ties with the BJP last June. The party has renewed its support to the Jeetan Ram Manjhi government, though Manjhi had not asked for it.
AICC media panelist Peek Chandra Mishra told The Indian Express: “With several candidates losing the recent election, it is clear that RJD votes did not come to us. Most leaders are in favour of breaking the electoral alliance and contesting the next assembly polls on our strength. Some leaders have also suggested that the party should explore options such as joining hands with Nitish.”
In New Delhi, Lalu said, “I had a meeting with Congress leaders this week in Delhi. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah were present. There was no talk of any murmurs within the alliance in the face of defeat… maybe those who did not get a ticket in the LS polls from the Congress are blaming the alliance for the defeat. Our alliance with the Congress will continue in Bihar.”
Lalu added that his party performed better than the JD(U) in the Lok Sabha polls. “The JD(U) lost its security deposits in 25 constituencies whereas the RJD forfeited its deposits in only one, West Champaran,” he said.
With PTI in New Delhi