Patna: As the nation awaits Eid celebrations after Ramzan, political alliances in Bihar are counting on gains and losses arising out of the several Iftar parties hosted by them during the last fortnight.
The biggest Iftar parties were hosted by leader of opposition and Lalu Yadav’s heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) on Wednesday evening.
Tejashwi Yadav turned his event into a platform to showcase that all was well within the Lalu family, timed as it was in the backdrop of his elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav’s sharp criticism against the party leadership.
On Wednesday, the Yadav brothers showed bonhomie and affection for each other and kept a place of honour for party veteran Ramchandra Purve, who was said to be reason for Tej Pratap’s outburst.
However, the presence of disgruntled BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha stole the show. The Yadav brothers along with Misa Bharti were heard openly telling him to fight the next Lok Sabha elections on an RJD ticket.
Tej Pratap went ahead and said, “RJD inhi ki party hai. Ye jahan se chahen chunav ladh sakte hain (RJD is his party. He can fight election from wherever he wants).”
Another surprise guest was Ghulam Gaus, a JD(U) leader who only four days ago had hosted Iftar dinner that was attended by Nitish Kumar himself. Nitish had chosen to skip NDA ally Upendra Kushwaha’s Iftar party hosted the same day.
Tejashwi not only showcased unity in the grand alliance but tried to mirror chinks within the ruling NDA through his Iftar party. He openly said the time had come for Kushwaha to join him as well. “It is only a matter of time”, he quipped.
Just a kilometre away in Haj house, JD(U) also held its Iftar dinner. While Tejashwhi’s event had two surprising faces, the JD(U)’s had three. But it was not smooth sailing as it was almost derailed by confusion and bitterness within the NDA.
As no big leader from JD(U), BJP or LJP had attended the Iftar hosted by RLSP leader Kushwaha, he two denied receiving any invitation extended to his party by JD(U).
But in a last minute effort, JD(U) president Bashishtha Narayan Singh himself called Kushwaha and invited to join Iftar. Although he still did not turn up, he sent his juniors to the venue.
As the Iftar went by, all were surprised to see three people – Congress MLAs Munna Tiwary and Sudarshan and RJD MLA Maheshwar Yadav, who like Shatrughan Sinha has been a vocal critique of his own party leadership.
When asked about his presence there instead at Tejashwi’s bungalow, he said Nitish was his leader and the RJD was free to take action against him.
At the end it was 3-2 in favour of NDA, but Tejashwhi got the bigwigs in his favour. There was no denying that both the camps had to do a lot of firefight to keep the folks together and there is no guarantee of what their future plans hold.