Patna: Congress has finally decided to put its candidates on both the assembly seats which will have bypolls on October 30, 2021, and the state leadership says that the final call on Mahagathbandhan would be taken by the central leadership of the party. The Congress gave tickets to Atirek Kumar from Kusheshwar Asthan and Rajesh Kumar Mishra from Tarapur.
Earlier the Congress had expressed its displeasure after totally being marginalized within the Mahagthbandhan by the RJD. The Congress wanted to contest the Kusheshwar Asthan seat and the same was conveyed to the RJD but in utter disregard of the “coalition dharma” the RJD announced its candidates from both the seats leaving the Congress sulking.
Subsequent deliberations between the state and the central leadership of the party took place and the party decided to finally put its candidates on both the seats giving rise to speculations in the state that the Mahagthbandhan has disintegrated and possibly there may be a cobbling up of another alliance in Bihar.
Meanwhile, after walking out of jail, JAP supremo made a veiled attack on the RJD and said that the party has always marginalized the alliance partners and that, “the time has come for the opposition to come together with the Congress and form a formidable alliance. “
Congress has relied too much on crutches and as such has been reduced significantly on the bargaining table with the RJD.
Possibly the Congress is too used to Piggybacking in Bihar and therefore has failed to deliver leadership in the state. It’s clear that the dilemma with Congress hovers around the choice between Nitish Kumar or the RJD.
It momentarily suits the party which, prior to 1990, was a force to reckon with in the state. Now the so-called bold decision of the Congress to put up its candidates on both the seats could possibly be momentary and the party may be lacking the wherewithal and courage to be the fulcrum for the formation of an alternative in the state minus the RJD.
Time and again the Congress has been sending feelers to Nitish Kumar but there has been no reciprocation for the same.
Even earlier most of the alliance partners walked out of the fold of Mahagthbandhan after being marginalized by the RJD. HAM, VIP and even RLSP could no longer take the so-called humiliation and as such at the spur of the moment prior to 2020 assembly elections preferred to go for a course correction.
The parties appear to be better placed. Congress however has remained glued to the RJD as it could not infuse a new lease of life among the party workers and preferred the easy route of piggy backing.
The costly mistake of 2017 made in Uttar Pradesh, may get repeated in almost an interminable succession in Bihar.
It’s perhaps for the first time that the party which still calls itself a national party could muster the courage to field the candidates on both seats.
Now the question remains, will this new enthusiasm build further or will it peter down by 2024 and 2025 because complacence has characterized the party for decades in Bihar.
Dr Ajay Alok from the JDU meanwhile taking potshots at the Congress said,” Don’t try to behave like a fox when you are actually like a goat in front of the RJD. “
Congress in Bihar can play a pivotal role in bringing together like-minded parties on a common platform. The byelections did set an example. But will Congress deviate from the rut, is the question that remains to be answered.