The Indian National Congress may agree to project Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav as their alliance’s chief ministerial candidate for the 2020 Bihar Legislative Assembly elections, according to a report by The Times of India.
Yadav, the son of former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi, is currently leading the RJD. He had also served as the deputy chief minister of Bihar between 2015 and 2017 when his party was running the state government along with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United).
However, the report added that discussions are still on over how projecting Tejashwi Yadav’s name as the chief ministerial candidate could affect caste-based political equations. It is also unclear if the Left front and other smaller regional parties such as Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) would join the alliance and agree to Yadav being named their chief ministerial candidate.
RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha had reportedly said on September 25 that he would “not accept the leadership of Tejashwi Yadav” in the alliance and that his party is keeping all options open. Kushwaha-led RLSP had quit National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and contested the general election alongside RJD and Congress.
The report suggests that Congress could contest from 74 of the total 243 constituencies. The rest would be taken up by RJD and other allies. RLSP is currently preparing to contest all seats.
This ‘Mahagathbandhan’ is challenging Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and its allies, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who are aiming to retain power in the state.
The Election Commission announced dates for the polls on September 25. Voting will be held in three phases starting from October 28, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. The counting of votes will happen on November 10.