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RJD’s social engineering tactics shows mixed results

On Tuesday, as results trickled in, a senior party leader said, “Barring leaders with individual clout, many of these seats did not come off for us. There will be time for analysis, but in the first two phases, we won 90 seats. It is the third phase where we fell very short, with less than 30 seats when we expected 50."

Written by Dipankar Ghose | Patna | Updated: November 11, 2020 6:28:29 am
Bihar election results, Bihar results, Bihar results latest updates, Tejashwi Yadav, mahagathbandhan, Bihar RJD seats, Bihar BJP seats, indian express, Bihar newsRJD leaders Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap with others at an election campaign meeting in Vaishali on November 5. (Photo: PTI)

Much of the conversation in the run-up to the polls was centred around whether the RJD-led alliance was able to spread its influence beyond its conventional Muslim-Yadav (M-Y) voter base.

On Tuesday, as results trickled in, a senior party leader said, “Barring leaders with individual clout, many of these seats did not come off for us. There will be time for analysis, but in the first two phases, we won 90 seats. It is the third phase where we fell very short, with less than 30 seats when we expected 50. Some of this is due to the AIMIM factor, but this is a region we will have to look at, and whether candidates who lost did so because of this caste factor or for other region-specific issues.”

“It cannot be that caste combinations worked for us in two phases but did not in the third phase,” the leader added.

Among some of the results, Bhumihar heavyweight Anant Singh, who faces many criminal cases, won from Mokama as was expected, as did Beena Singh, a Rajput and wife of Rama Singh, from Mahnar. But Binod Mishra (Alinagar) lost to Mishri Lal Yadav of VIP by 3,101 votes, and in Bahadurpur, Ramesh Choudhary lost to JD(U)’s Madan Sahni.

Vishwa Mohan Kumar lost from Pipra, even as Vijay Kumar Mandal of RJD won in Dinara, primarily riding on former BJP leader Rajendra Prasad Singh eating into more than 50,000 votes. Among non-Yadav candidates are Sameer Kumar Mahaseth (Madhubani), Sanjay Kumar Gupta (Belsand), and Shashi Kumar Singh (Sugauli).

While MGB did have 70 Yadav candidates for these polls – as opposed to the NDA’s 35 – 58 of them from RJD, the rest held the key. While NDA fielded 30 EBC candidates, of whom 18 are from JD(U), RJD had 20 of the alliance’s total 21. The RJD also fielded eight Khushwaha candidates, 19 SCs, one ST, nine Rajputs, four Brahmins, 18 Muslims, and six Vaishya candidates, party leaders said.

Senior RJD leaders told The Indian Express before counting day that work for broad-basing the caste factor beyond the M-Y base had begun in December 2019 – with a decision to implement reservations for SC/STs and EBCs in all organisational districts. “We have 48 organisational districts, comprising 38 districts; the rest are for the cities,” a senior RJD leader said. “In all, we implemented a 45-per cent reservation, going right down to district and block president levels.”

As far as important positions go, Jagdanand Singh, who became RJD president, is a Rajput, while a Bhumihar was sent to the Rajya Sabha in A D Singh, an RJD leader pointed out.

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