At least 19 Bihar Congress MLAs have urged party Vice President Rahul Gandhi to split from the alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal in the state, The Times of India reported on Friday.
The legislators who met Gandhi on Wednesday accused Rashtriya Janata Dal President Lalu Prasad Yadav of never being faithful to the Congress. They blamed Yadav for their party’s poor performance in the state for 20 years.
“I told Rahul Gandhi that the Congress does not need an alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar for the time being,” Ajit Sharma, the Congress MLA from Bhagalpur, told the English daily. He believes that if needed, the Congress can ally with the Rashtriya Janata Dal ahead of the 2019 elections to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“As of now, continuing the alliance with the RJD would weaken the morale of party workers in the state,” he added.
Sharma, who was among the 19 leaders who met Gandhi. accused Yadav of not including photographs of either Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi in posters for the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s “Desh Bachao, BJP Bhagao” rally on August 27. “The Congress is a national party, and it should not be dictated by the RJD,” he said.
The Congress has 27 legislators in the 243-member Bihar Assembly and six members in the Legislative Council.
The report comes amid speculation that a few Congress members, including Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ashok Chaudhary, may defect to the Janata Dal (United).
Political tensions have been high in Bihar since July 26, when Chief Minister Nitish Kumar broke his Janata Dal (United)’s alliance with the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal in the state and resigned from the post. He later allied with the BJP and was sworn in as the chief minister again.
Kumar had said he was quitting because of the corruption charges against many leaders of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, including Lalu Prasad Yadav and his son Tejashwai Yadav, who was also the deputy chief minister of Bihar before the alliance split.