Opposition divided in Bihar as ruling alliance sounds poll bugle

While the BJP has already echoed the poll bugle in the election-bound state of Bihar, the opposition still has much cobbling to do in order to put a united front against the grand alliance of the JD-U, the BJP and the LJP. With the Election Commission getting into the poll mode, it’s getting clear that the electoral process might be as per schedule in October or early November.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had much earlier put to rest all the speculations on the alliance with the JD-U, stating that the elections in Bihar would be fought under Nitish Kumar and that he would be the captain of the team. However, the two allies have sailed through troubled waters and despite differences on issues like Triple Talaq, Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), and National Register of Citizens (NRC), the JD-U and the BJP have managed to bury the hatchet. Even the LJP appears to be on the same page and has already girded up its loins for elections.

This stands in sharp contrast to the situation in Mahagathbandhan (the grand alliance). Jeetan Ram Manjhi, the leader of Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) which is the part of the Mahagathbadhan, is a sulking man, like Upendra Kushwaha of the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP).   

Both Manjhi and Kushwaha have been for long demanding the setting up of a coordination committee within the Mahagathbandhan. However, the plea landed on the deaf ears as Tejashwi Yadav seems indifferent. The coordination committee could have at least brought the conflicting partners with personal ambitions on a common platform to send out the semblance of an alliance with no difference.

Recently, there have been clandestine meetings between Manji and Kushwaha and even Mukesh Sahni of the VIP party to chalk out the future course of action. Speculation was rife that they wanted Sharad Yadav to spearhead an alliance as Tejashwi Yadav was not acceptable to them.

Manjhi came out in open against the RJD recently when Tejashwi Yadav decided to march to Gopalganj to protest the triple murder in the family of one of his party workers, saying he was not consulted. He went to the extent of questioning the rationale of the protest only for the Gopalganj killings.

The problem within the Mahagathbandhan will further compound over discussions for seat-sharing and also the leadership of Tejashwi Yadav as the elections come knocking on the door.

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