After the debacle in the Bihar bypolls, the Indian National Congress in Bihar is looking at different options to explore with multiple views emerging within the party about the future roadmap of the party. One faction is in favour of an alliance with the Rastriya Janata Dal (RJD), while most leaders of Bihar Congress are of the opinion that only way the Congress party can revive in the state is by fighting the battle alone and by strengthening the organization of the party which had gone from bad to worst in the last 20-years.
Talking to The Daily Guardian, senior Bihar Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Akhilesh Prasad Singh said, “ The practical option after the bypolls results is to fight collectively. Our central leadership will look at the larger picture and take a call.’ While the Bihar Congress president Madan Mohan Jha said, “ It’s too early to say anything, there are no elections in Bihar in the next two years. We will strengthen our party’s organization and work on the grassroot.The decision to break the alliance with the RJD and fight separately was taken by our high command and any future decision would also be taken by the central leadership.”
In both the seats of Bihar Legislative Assembly- Kusheshwarsthan and Tarapur,where bypolls were held the Congress’s performance was not upto the mark, in Tarapur Congress’s candidate Rajesh Kumar Mishra got only 3,852 votes and in Kusheshwarsthan, the grand old party’s candidate Atirek Ram got only 5,603 votes and lost the deposits while the RJD came second. The JD (U) has been able to retain both the seats. In the Kusheshwarsthan assembly segment which falls under Samastipur Lok Sabha seat, the JD(U) candidate, Aman Bhushan Hajari defeated his nearest rival the RJD’s Ganesh Bharti by a margin of more than 12,000 votes while in the Tarapur assembly seat, JD(U)’s candidate Rajeev Kumar Singh won by a margin of 3,800 votes. In Kusheshwarsthan, Hajari got 59,887 while the RJD’s Ganesh Bharti polled 47,192 votes.
The mood among the Congress workers and activists is to go solo in the state and strengthen the party on the grassroot level. Youth Congress spokesperson and leader Shams Shahnawaz who has been working on the ground for 15-years said, “ We will only succeed in Bihar if we strengthen our own organizational structure, connect with the masses and fight for the people’s cause. There are no assembly and parliamentary elections in the next two years. Our membership drive has started, it should be used as an opportunity to strengthen the party organization and emerge as a viable alternative. As an active worker of the party I can say that any other party would take us seriously if we develop our own strength in the state.”