Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav, in his first comments after the Grand Alliance’s defeat in the Bihar Assembly elections, on Thursday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar used “muscle power, money and deceit” but could not stop him, ANI reported.
The RJD emerged as the single-largest party in elections, winning 75 seats. The Congress won 19 seats, while the Left parties put up an impressive performance with 16 wins. The National Democratic Alliance won the election with 125 seats.
Yadav said he was happy that young people and the working-class had supported his party. “Although it was a double-engine government in the state, I am happy that the people, including the youth, ASHA [Accredited Social Health Activist] didis [sisters] and teachers favoured us,” he was quoted as saying by ANI at a press briefing.
Yadav alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party and Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) tried everything to deter the RJD, but failed. “PM Modi used money muscle and deceit and chief minister [Kumar] had the support of rich industrialists,” Yadav said. “Despite this, they could not stop this 31-year-old. The BJP tried everything but it could not stop RJD from becoming the single-largest party.”
The RJD leader intensified his criticism of Kumar. “See where Nitish Kumar’s glow has gone,” he was quoted as saying by NDTV. “He has been pushed to third position. This is a mandate for change.” The Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) won only 43 seats in the elections, much less than its ally BJP’s tally of 74 seats.
Yadav said that Kumar should vacate the chief minister’s post, if he had some morality left, according to ANI. “We are in the public’s hearts, even though they [NDA] are in power,” he said. Yadav said Kumar should not do something disrespectful, during his “last days” in politics, according to Hindustan Times.
The RJD leader again repeated his allegations of fraud in the elections and demanded a recount, NDTV reported. His especially pointed to the constituencies where the RJD’s candidates lost by a narrow margin.
Yadav also asked why election officials had not counted postal ballots in the beginning. “The mandate was for the Mahagathbandhan,” he was quoted as saying by the news channel. “The chief minister wants to come in from the chor darwaza [back door],” he said.