Understanding the situation of Mahagathbandhan in Bihar Assembly polls

Earlier VIP was to be a part of the Mahagathbandhan but things went downhill in seat-sharing talks


 

As we near the Bihar Assembly Elections 2020, political heat has started to intensify in the state. There are two major force in Bihar politics, one is NDA, which is in power and the other is Mahagathbandhan (the grand alliance). In this article, we will look at the situation of Mahagathbandhan in the state.

 

Who got how many seats?

Mahagathbandhan recently announced its formula, appointing Tejashwi Yadav, son of Lalu Prasad Yadav, as the ‘face of Mahagathbandhan’, presumably their Chief Ministerial candidate. The grand alliance has decided the seat share as such – Rashtriya Janta Dal (144 seats), Congress (70 seats + Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha bypoll), Communist Party of India, Marxists (4 seats), Communist Party of India (6 seats), Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist (19 seats).

RJD is led by Tejasvi Prasad Yadav and Bihar Congress is led by Avinash Pandey. Mukesh Sahani, the President of Vikassheel Insan Party was supposed to be with the grand alliance but the seat-sharing arrangement was not satisfactory for Mukesh Sahani, so he decided to leave the grand alliance and go with NDA. VIP party has got 11 seats in the NDA.

 

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Crisis in RJD

The grand alliance has suffered several jolts ahead of the assembly polls. Before reaching an understanding about the seats, Avinash Pande had said that it prepared list to contest on all 243 seats. RJD MLA Chandrika Rai, who was a close friend of former Bihar CM Lalu Yadav and his son Tej Pratap Yadav’s father-in-law, senior MLAs Jaiwardhan Yadav, Faraz Fatmi and 3 more MLAs quit Rashtriya Janta Dal and joined the ruling Janta Dal United, which is led by Nitish Kumar.

Nitish Kumar’s former close-aid Sharad Yadav, who is leading Loktantrik Janata Dal, has not joined any front so far. Earlier, RLSP leader Upendra Kushwaha gave a major jolt to Mahagathbandhan by announcing that it will contest election along with Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party.

In 2015 Assembly elections, the RJD had contested on 101 seats and Congress had contested on 41. While RJD had won 80 seats, Congress had won 27.  JDU had contested on the rest of the seats, which have now been distributed between the RJD and the Congress.

 

Challenges for RJD

The biggest challenge for RJD is to come out of the image of his party which has “Jungle Raj” attached to it. Another problem for RJD is that their main leader (as per the popularity in masses) remains Lalu Prasad Yadav. Even after years of efforts, Tejasvi Prasad has not been able to gain mass appeal. Critics say that he never worked hard for the post that he has got. He got it on a plate. Until and unless he becomes the leader of mass by detaching the tag of ‘Yadav Ki Party’, it seems very difficult for RJD to score in less-Yadav constituencies. About 16 per cent of the voters are Yadavs which means these are confirmed votes for them but these are not enough.

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