Who will lead Oppn in 2019 polls? Congress or ...

The RJD with 80 legislators in Bihar Assembly is the largest party while Congress had won 27 seats in the 2015 elections.

Patna: Massive victory of the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh has sparked off a debate in Mahagathbandhan as to which party would lead the Opposition in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress in Bihar has started giving signals of discomfort for being placed as a B player in the grand alliance and seeks a better position. While giving his reactions after election results were declared, the working president of Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) Kaukab Quadri said, “It is quite clear the Congress party would lead the coalition at the national level.”

Political analysts also feel that election results in five states, especially in the Hindi heartland where BJP was in power, will give an edge to the Congress which may exert pressure on RJD for a higher number of parliamentary seats in Bihar.

The RJD with 80 legislators in Bihar Assembly is the largest party while Congress had won 27 seats in the 2015 elections. There is a buzz that the Congress may raise its demand to contest on an equal number of seats with RJD.

The other coalition partners like Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), left parties (CPI and CPI-ML), Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) may get the remaining seats for the 2019 general elections.

RJD sources said that Mahagathbandhan coalition partners, especially Mr Sharad Yadav is also in touch with RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha who had left NDA a day ahead of election results in five states.

According to RLSP sources, Mr Kushwaha is likely to clear his stand whether he would be joining the grand secular alliance or forge a third front with other smaller regional parties in Bihar.

The RJD and Congress consider Mr Kushwaha as a strong player who can cause a massive dent in the vote bank of the JD(U). The Opposition feels that Mr Kushwaha can bring about 5 per cent Koeri votes to the grand alliance “in case RLSP party splits” in the state.

Besides, political analysts also feel that debacle in three BJP-ruled states can influence the political scenario in NDA as well. Chief minister Nitish Kumar who has been getting more weight from the BJP is likely to emerge stronger in Bihar.

JD(U) leaders said that “the BJP should maintain better coordination with coalition partners before getting into the Lok Sabha poll mode”.

Sharp reactions also came from the LJP MP Chirag Paswan who held BJP responsible for losing three states by pushing Ram Mandir and Hanuman issues during Assembly elections.

Mr Paswan said, “NDA’s electoral agenda should be development, not Ram temple and Hanuman. BJP leader should avoid such rhetoric. Time has come for NDA partners to set agendas for 2019 Lok Sabha elections.”

Mr Paswan also created a flutter by demanding a “respectable” number of seats for his party.

“A meeting on the issue of seat sharing is expected soon. We hope to get a respectable number of seats for the Lok Sabha elections,” the LJP MP said.

Political analysts also feel that the JD(U) which is to contest on an equal number of seats with BJP in Bihar may ask for fielding candidates from his party from constituencies which have been BJP’s traditional seats.

Next Story