RJD, Congress pin hope on anti-Nitish sentiment

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 7

The RJD-Congress combine is pinning hopes on the anti-Nitish Kumar sentiment to romp home in the Bihar elections and form an alliance government in the state.

With exit polls placing the grand alliance ahead of the NDA, Congress leaders today said they would bag anywhere up to 45 seats and even more if the anticipated anti-incumbency factor holds.

Congress leaders privately spoke of the anti-Vasundhara Raje sentiment in the 2018 Rajasthan polls to draw parallels with Bihar and said the anger against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Bihar was palpable as it was against BJP’s Raje in Rajasthan. The Congress had won Rajasthan, though not comfortably.

The leaders also believe Bihar would be a verdict on the BJP recent policies as it is the first state to go to polls after the anti-CAA-NRC protests, followed by the Covid outbreak and the consequent lockdown that left several migrants stranded for days.

Many migrants died on their way home after Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a national lockdown on March 25.

“Bihar results will predict the mood of the people as it is the first poll after a series of disruptive developments in the form of Covid and the CAA-NRC agitation,” said a Congress leader of Bihar, a famed bellwether state.

The Congress, meanwhile, wants to make sure that the blame for the NDA loss in Bihar, if it happens as predict exit polls, is not laid squarely on the doors of three-term CM Nitish Kumar alone.

“If the NDA loses Bihar, the PM would have much to explain,” said a senior Congress leader.

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