Bihar politics today is in a state of churning. Both the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Grand Alliance sides are undergoing a state of internal turmoil in their own ways.
What’s happening in the ruling camp, NDA, has indubitably raised many questions; but what is rolling on the other side of the political divide, the Grand Alliance, specifically the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is also catching the eyes of all and sundry.
It’s natural. The reason is obvious. The RJD has turned out to be the most successful political party in Bihar during 2020 assembly elections securing highest number of seats, 75 (followed by BJP 74 and JDU 43).
Not only the highest number of seats that it secured which caught observers’ eyes, it also secured the highest percentage of vote share cast in the elections of 2020. It secured 23.11 percent of votes, followed by BJP with 19.50 and Janata Dal (United) with 15.30 percent of votes.
Thus it was far ahead of JDU and also reasonably ahead of BJP in terms of securing the percentage of votes cast.
It clearly explains how RJD has once again turned out to be a major political force in Bihar to reckon with. This was however all possible due to Tejashwi Yadav, the man in command at the time of the 2020 assembly elections.
What is more surprising is that Tejashwi Yadav had succeeded in it during last elections even in the face of stiff onslaught on the part of NDA, led by no less than a person than the Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself who was also incidentally assisted by Nitish Kumar, the sitting chief minister of the state for many years.
Just as a political novice as Tejashwi Yadav was, inspite of his previous background of being a former deputy chief minister for a brief period in the year 2015, it was an astonishing performance by any standard given his age and experience, and also as the way he was dismissed by then political observers.
In this backdrop, the present upheaval within the RJD raises many questions.It may be assessed in many ways.
RJD, like the Congress on the national front and several regional political parties at the state levels, has now metamorphosed into yet another political dynasty with meaningful consequences in Indian politics after the arrival of second generation of Lalu Yadav family in the politics.
As is seen elsewhere, ‘darbar’ politics within the ruling families quite often makes times very difficult for the rulers ‘within’. It gives sleepless nights to all those who are within the family and even outside. RJD is undergoing such a predicament now.
Amongst the nine children of Lalu Yadav and Rabri Yadav (both of them former chief ministers of Bihar) only three opted for politics, Misa Bharti, Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav.
But it was Tejashwi Yadav who took up the commands to carry forward the legacy of his father with an active support from his eldest sister, Misa Bharti and elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav.
And he did it remarkably well with full the support from his other siblings, including Misa Bharti (now a Rajya Sabha MP) and Tej Pratap Yadav, sitting MLA and former minister in Nitish government of 2015 and Tejashwi Yadav, sitting MLA and former deputy chief minister in Nitish Kumar government in 2015.
During the entire 2020 state assembly campaign Tejashwi Yadav kept getting rock solid support from his elder brother, Tej Pratap Yadav.Tej Pratap Yadav kept insisting that Tejashwi was his Arjun and he would see to it that his younger brother was eventually enthroned as the next chief minister of Bihar.
If we were to assess the two brothers it can be easily said that the two belonged to two different worlds.
Even in the the absence of his primogeniture right to carry the legacy of his father in the political leadership game, Tej Pratap Yadav kept reflecting the true imagery of his father in his public appearances.
He is direct and instant in his verbal outpourings. He is highly religious and an avid devout of Lord Shri Krishna. He doesn’t mince words.
The author is a political analyst. Views expressed are personal.