Journey of Tejashwai Yadav : From a weak opposition to a contender in Bihar election

Ankit Kumar
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Is Tejashwi Yadav ready to become the new CM of Bihar at the age of 31?


Before the beginning of the Bihar elections, many political pundits and observers believed that NDA will swap the upcoming Bihar Assembly Elections. They said that the lack of opposition will again help Nitish Kumar to win elections in Bihar. Little did they knew then, that RJD’s President and Mahagathbandha’s CM candidate will come to all guns blazing against the National Democratic Alliance during the election campaigns.
Firstly, Tejashwi smartly sided with Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP, Jeetan Ram Manjhi’s HAM, Mukesh Shani’s VIP, and other smaller parties. Later, he forged an alliance with Congress and left parties- CPI, CPI(M), and CPI(ML) by sidelining his ego. This benefitted him in gaining 144 seats (most by a major single political party in the election) along with the support of Congress and Left supporters.
Till the seat-distribution, there were no huge sound alarms, but once he started the campaigning, he has been dominant even on Narendra Modi (in terms of gathering crowds). His social media strategy, which plays a very important role in election these days, has been top-notch, making his speeches viral. He has been continuously doing rallies across Bihar and has planned it in a way which covers all his alliances.

What changed in Tejashwi? 

The RJD’s president, who is currently 30 years old, but will become 31 if he wins and becomes the Chief Minister (the youngest one). The drastic change in the political atmosphere towards Mahagathbandhan hasn’t happened on its own. While there is some contribution of anti-incumbency against Nitish Kumar, the change of approach in Tejashwi also needs to be credited.
In a huge change, Tejashwi has started using the communicative approach in his speeches, similar to Lalu Prasad Yadav and Narendra Modi. Apart from asking questions on the NDA directly, he is also making the thousands of crowd in the rally to ask questions on employment, health, crime, education, and more. Another change is that he has adopted the local dialect in his speeches which helps in connecting with the village people more than Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar.
In the 2019 election, he was seen criticizing Narendra Modi on a number of occasions, but this time he is not repeating the same mistake and targeting the right-man – Nitish Kumar.
In a difference-making change, the junior Yadav is hitting NDA where it hurts more. He has made employment the biggest issue in the election by announcing that he will give 10 lakh jobs if he is voted into power. Employment is a serious problem in Bihar, which Tejashwi is using perfectly. His job promises became so relevant that BJP too had to promise 19 lakh job opportunities in their manifesto.

 What to expect now?

Looking at the two phases of the election in which women have come in fewer numbers (women are said to be Nitish’s voters), and a surge of popularity amongst youth for Tejashwi, political experts have changed their prediction and now they are calling it a 50-50 contest. Earlier, it was termed a one-sided affair but now a massive increase in popularity of Tejashwi has ensured that NDA runs the extra mile.
The decision of Chirag Paswan to go solo in the Assembly Election has also been a great help for Mahagathbandhan as it has scattered the votes of JDU into LJP and JDU. This has strengthened the position of RJD in many seats. Nitish’s second-fiddle to Narendra Modi in the election campaigns has also dented the competence of Nitish Kumar.

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