The RJD on Thursday pulled off a sensational win in Jokihat assembly seat in Bihar, where its candidate Shahnawaz Alam won by a margin of 41,224 votes. The seat was previously held by the JDU.
The victory here for the RJD assumes significance since Tejashwi Yadav, RJD leader and former deputy chief minister of Bihar, has had to lead the campaign without his charismatic father, Lalu Yadav, who’s in jail after being convicted in the fodder scam case. The RJD had also won the last Lok Sabha polls in Araria in the absence of Lalu.
On Thursday, Tejashwi launched a scathing attack on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for having lost the confidence of the people and asked him to step down if he he had any ‘conscience left.’
Speaking to reporters, Tejashwi said, “Nitish Kumar had betrayed the trust of people in Bihar when he joined hands with the BJP. Now today’s results have conclusively established that people of Bihar have punished him for his betrayal. If his inner conscience is still not sleeping, then he should immediately meet the governor to tender his resignation.”
He also added, “The number of votes JDU got, is less than our victory margin. People of Bihar are continuing to avenge the uturn taken by Nitish Kumar.”
This is the second successive electoral loss for the JDU after he aligned with the BJP, a party he had actively campaigned against to win the assembly polls in 2015. However, a year later, Nitish stunned everyone by exiting the alliance with the RJD and the Congress to partner with the BJP.
Bihar has descended into utter lawlessness since the JDU-BJP took control of the government. Several parts of the state witnessed communal violence with Bhagalpur and Samastipur hitting media headlines for the wrong reasons globally. Nitish Kumar was widely condemned for being a mute spectator.
Experts had already warned that the RJD’s win in Araria followed by Jokihat will spell disaster for Nitish ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections. Two back-to-back win for the Congress-RJD combine against the BJP-JDU alliance is a sign that Nitish had made a grave mistake by betraying his old allies.