‘Rahul Gandhi Was on Shimla Picnic During Bihar Polls’: RJD Leader

Shivanand Tiwari asked “is party run like that?” and added that the Congress’ way of functioning is helping the BJP.

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Politics
3 min read
Shivanand Tiwari, RJD leader. 
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The Congress has been blamed for the Mahagathbandhan’s poll performance by Tejashwi Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Shivanand Tiwari, who on Sunday, 15 November, alleged to news agency ANI that Congress’s mismanagement and inadequate rallying have benefited the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Congress only won 19 seats out of the 70 that it contested, whereas the RJD emerged as the largest party by winning 75 seats in Bihar.

What Shivanand Tiwari Said Was A Personal View: RJD

“Elections were in full swing and Rahul Gandhi was on picnic at Priyanka ji’s place in Shimla. Is a party run like that? Allegations can be levelled that manner in which Congress is being run, it’s benefiting BJP,” Tiwari said.

"Congress became a shackle for Mahagathbandhan. They had fielded 70 candidates but didn't hold even 70 public rallies. Rahul Gandhi came for three days, Priyanka [Gandhi Vadra] didn't come, those who were unfamiliar with Bihar came here. This is not right,” Shivanand Tiwari told news agency ANI.

"I think this is not the case only in Bihar. In other states, too, Congress lays more emphasis on contesting on the maximum possible number of seats but they fail at winning the maximum possible number of seats. Congress should think about this”, Tiwari said, reported NDTV.

However, in an interview with news agency, ANI, RJD’s Manoj Jha responded to Shivanand Tiwari’s poll remarks about Gandhi and said that these were the party leader’s personal views and not representative of the party’s view on Congress.

“It’s his personal opinion and not the party’s stand. There’s a proper time and place for any analysis which will be done to identify where did we lack in cooperation and synergy”, says RJD’s Manoj Jha to ANI. 

Congress Reacts to RJD Leader’s Allegations

The Mahagathbandhan won 110 seats whereas the NDA won the Assembly election with 125 seats. The RJD and the Left constituents fared much better than the Congress.

However, Congress General Secretary and former Union minister Tariq Anwar told ANI on 16 November that Rahul Gandhi held many public meetings in the state and the Congress leadership had given full support during the elections. He said, “Shivanand Tiwari is a senior and must think before making such remarks. Congress isn't RJD. RJD is a regional party and its leaders are confined to Bihar. Rahul Gandhi had said he'll come to Bihar whenever needed and he did so. He can't work like leaders of RJD”.

Anwar told PTI on Sunday, 15 November, “There was an environment of change with enthusiasm among the common people for it, but we could not exploit that. We had the expectation that with the Congress fighting on 70 seats, it would win at least 50 percent of the seats.”

“But there have been shortcomings on our part, otherwise we should have won 35-40 seats,” Tariq Anwar told PTI.

Anwar is part of the Congress Bihar poll management committee, and he told PTI that the poll results were “definitely below expectations” and that Congress must introspect and do a performance analysis of why it fared poorly in Bihar.

He acknowledged there were shortcomings from the party’s end which adversely impacted the Bihar election results such as a delay in finalising seat sharing for the elections and told PTI in an interview that Congress must complete alliance formalities in advance for upcoming Assembly polls and learn from its mistakes.

(Inputs from ANI, PTI, NDTV and The Indian Express)

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