| Rabri Devi arrives at the Assembly on Tuesday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Patna, July 15: The discontent within the JDU over its probable tie-up with the RJD resurfaced today, a day after former chief minister and senior party leader Nitish Kumar stressed that those opposed to the alliance were free to join any organisation.
Ignoring the diktat of Nitish, Dal’s Islampur MLA Rajiv Ranjan declared that the proposed JDU-RJD alliance would be unnatural. “When Nitish separated from Lalu in 1994 and formed the Samata Party, the issues were scams, kidnapping industry and poor law and order situation during the Lalu raj (regime),” said Ranjan, whose Assembly constituency is in Nalanda — the home district of Nitish.
Ranjan stressed that the BJP and the JDU alliance had bagged 84 per cent of the seats on the slogan of “development of justice” and “end of jungle raj (lawlessness)” in the 2010 Assembly polls. He said more than 65 MLAs of the JDU were opposed to any alliance with the RJD.
“Those legislators are silent right now because the party has started proceedings against nine dissident MLAs for cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha bypolls,” he said.
The Nitish loyalists claimed that it was too premature to react on the possibility of an alliance with the RJD despite the latter supporting the JDU in the Rajya Sabha bypolls and the Jitan Ram Manjhi-led government.
“After all, major issues like seat-sharing and the leadership of the alliance have to be worked out,” said a JDU MLA.
Accepting the viewpoint, a Dal MLA opposed to the possible tie-up said: “The talks about an alliance has prompted discussions among the masses that crime had increased in Bihar because of the possible Dal-RJD alliance.”
There are indications that the JDU and the RJD could constitute a committee comprising leaders from both the sides to take all the decisions on the alliance.
According to expelled JDU leader and former MP Shivanand Tiwari, Nitish was willing to ditch the BJP for the RJD even after the February 2005 Assembly polls, which threw up a hung Assembly. Shivanand was then a close aide of Lalu Prasad.
“I had proposed that the RJD should support Nitish to form the government. After a little persuasion, Lalu asked me to talk to Nitish. Nitish agreed, but Lalu backed out,” he recalled, stressing that it was ironical that the two leaders were proposing to join hands almost after a decade.
“The social ground realties have changed drastically and I doubt if the alliance of the two leaders will have a major political impact on Bihar,” he said.
The Opposition mocked Nitish’s strong Dal-RJD alliance hints. “Nitish is speaking like a dictator and threatening to expel those who oppose him. Nitish and Lalu are making a roadmap for the destruction of Bihar,” said Nand Kishore Yadav of the BJP.
The BJP’s voice against the alliance would not worry the JDU much. The possibility of the voice of opposition getting louder inside the party does.