Taking on statements by senior RJD leaders on the possibilities of an alliance with the Janata Dal (United) for the 2020 Assembly polls, Leader of the Opposition in the Bihar Assembly, Tejashwi Yadav has dismissed the idea saying “Nitish Kumar is known for betrayal.”
Speaking at a party workers meeting on Saturday, the former deputy CM said, “Nitish Kumar has never mustered the courage to contest Assembly elections on his own in the last 15 years. He either went with the BJP, or with us, but betrayed us both. He is known for betrayal and could continue to do so.”
He also categorically ruled out any chance of any alliance with JD(U) for the 2020 Assembly polls. The RJD has already nominated Tejashwi as the party’s CM candidate.
Editorial | Nitish vs who
Later, Tejashwi took to Twitter saying, “Nitish Kumar does not have policies, principles and ideology of his own. He had been only eloquent on opposing BJP on Article 370 and triple talaq but ended up only helping BJP during voting in Parliament. He has always betrayed us, Grand Alliance constituents and BJP. The chair is his first and last idea.”
Fears of sidelines impeding alliance
Tejashwi, despite not being able to impress in the last Lok Sabha polls, sees the 2020 Assembly elections as a big opportunity to advance his political interests and somewhat consolidate his position in the party. If Nitish happens to return to the Grand Alliance, Tejashwi may get relegated to the sidelines again. His personal political ambition and trust deficit with Nitish is holding him back for any possible tieup with the JD(U).
His stance is in contravention to ideas of several senior leaders. Former MP and party national vice president Raghuvansh Prasad Singh had said that RJD should try to rally around non-BJP parties and earlier, former Rajya Sabha MP and party national vice president Shivanand Tiwary had gone on to say that RJD could accept Nitish as Grand Alliance leader again, if he would decide to quit the ruling National Democratic Alliance.
An RJD source said: “There are definitely two opinions within the party. Tejashwi perhaps is worried about his political growth if Nitish comes back to the Grand Alliance. But some seniors believe that only Nitish can help revive fortunes of the BJP.”
The source added that Tejashwi’s “tough stance” might be borne out of the “2015 mandate betrayal by Nitish”.
A row over Nitish Kumar’s leadership had also recently pitted the JD (U) against the BJP till deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi sought to put the matter to rest by calling Nitish the “NDA captain for 2020 polls”.
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