The Congress’ performance in Bihar — it won two of 12 Lok Sabha seats it contested — has set off murmurs of discontent on the alliance with the RJD.
Party workers and middle rung leaders are asking why the party tied up with the convicted Lalu Prasad’s RJD or why they should continue in alliance with a person who could not ensure even his wife and daughter’s victories.
Bihar had sent two Congress MPs, Meira Kumar and Mohammad Asrarul Haque, to Lok Sabha in 2009 when it fought on its own after the RJD offered it just three seats. On Friday too, Bihar sent two Congress MPs, Mohammad Asrarul Haque from Kishanganj and Ranjeet Ranjan from Supaul, to Lok Sabha. The Congress had fielded 12 candidates in alliance with the RJD. Losers include Meira Kumar (Sasaram), Nikhil Kumar (Aurangabad), Ashok Kumar (Samastipur), Jyoti (Gopalganj) and Sanjiv Prasad Toni (Gaya).
In 2004, fighting in alliance with the RJD, the Congress had won just three seats. Its vote share was around 4 per cent then, rose to 10.3 per cent in 2009 and is 8.5 per cent now. Congress leaders feel they should rethink the alliance as the party gained little by allying.
An office-bearer of the Bihar Pradesh Congress Committ ee said: “Rahul Gandhi never wanted an alliance with the RJD, as its president was convicted in a corruption case. The alliance was stitched under pressure.” He also said the party’s poll prospects would have been better if it had tied up with Nitish Kumar instead.
But Bihar Congress chief Ashok Choudhary said: “It’s not that the party suffered a severe debacle because of this alliance. Rather, we failed to take the UPA government’s achievements to the people. ”
The alliance was formed after getting feedback from party workers and leaders in all districts, Choudhary said while admitting: “It was our failure to sense the Modi wave in the state. ” Asked if the Congress would continue its alliance with RJD, he said the party high command would decide that after introspection.