Mahagathbandhan in Bihar : The alliance that is headed for Maha Break Up
Mahagathbandhan in Bihar : 2015 Bihar Assembly Election was the first successful Mahagathbandhan experiment. Congress, JD(U), RJD came together to form a new political equation in Bihar and as a result the mighty BJP was demolished in the election.
The MGB equation was ready to take on Modi wave in every state, however come 2019, the powerful Mahagathbandhan lost its speed. Its key player Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) was back with it old ally BJP and in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the Modi wave became a Tsunami and swept away MGB in every state.
Mahagathbandhan in Bihar could split before the election
The 2020 Bihar Assembly Election is few months away. NDA under Nitish Kumar’s JDU in Bihar seems to be intact however All Is Not Well in the other big alliance, the Mahagathbandhan which is now headed by RJD under Tejaswi Yadav. In Bihar, MGB allies are RJD, Congress, VIP, Jiten Ram Majhi’s HAM and Upendra Singh Khushwaha’s RLSP. HAM’s national President Jiten Ram Majhi is not happy the way Mahagathbandhan is working for upcoming 2020 Assembly election. He had set an ultimatum of 25th June for Mahagathbandhan. He made it clear that if an Coordination Committee is not created by then, HAM is free to take decision independently.
NDA in Bihar has shown maturity since Lok Sabha 2019 election. The three big parties of the alliance – BJP, JD(U) and LJP have already started working towards achieving their goal of forming a government in Bihar under the leadership of Nitish Kumar. On other hand, MGB is still unsure about what steps should be taken and how the alliance partners should work together. One of the big issues of conflict is the CM candidate. Many outside the RJD feel that Tejashwi may not be the best candidate at the moment.
The ripples in the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar was visible when RJD denied Rajya Sabha seat to Congress. Of the two Rajya Sabha seats, Congress demanded one from RJD, however, RJD fielded its candidates in both the seats thereby signalling that all was not good in the alliance anymore. There are rumours that the Mahagathbandan may dump three of its allies that is Jiten Ram Majhi’s HAM, Upendra Singh Khushwaha’s RLSP and Mukesh Saini’s VIP and make way for CPI under Kanhaiya Kumar and former RJD MP Pappu Yadav. However, this may not be a wise move given the large OBC and Dalit base in the State. Khushwaha and Majhi give some access to this large voting block.
The Bihar Assembly election 2020 is scheduled to be held in the month of October-November later this year. However, the Grand Alliance in Bihar are clueless and yet to figure out the future course of action. The alliance is already over crowded and leadership has no clue about the distribution of seats among the alliance.
Jiten Ram Majhi have threatened the MGB on several occasion, however have remained with alliance. On the other hand the leadership of Congress and RJD are looking for an alternative, may be dumping few of the alliance partners and making room for the new ones. One must not forget that even Congress may leave the alliance as we saw in Uttar Pradesh where the alliance that was supposed to happen between SP-BSP and Congress saw Congress fighting on its own in the state.
The Wide open Bihar election is yet to see a proper contest. The pandemic has overshadowed the most awaited election of the year. However, if things aren’t sorted out by Mahagathbandhan in Bihar at the earliest, NDA in Bihar may return to power once again.