With the Jharkhand electoral battle behind them, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP) are now preparing for the real fight ahead in their home turf, Bihar, next year by targeting both the ruling outfits in the State and the Centre. The Bihar Assembly elections are due in October-November.
The RJD and the LJP have decided to jointly launch a campaign against both the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in Bihar and the UPA government at the Centre.
LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan told The Hindu that his efforts to tie-up with the Congress had gone in vain and, therefore, the scope for reasoning with the latter was rather dull, particularly in the face of its decided quest to recover its lost ground and strengthen its mass base.
The LJP held a demonstration here on Saturday, demanding the dismissal of the Nitish Kumar government, for the lathicharge on its workers. In the second leg of the agitation, Mr. Paswan has given a call to fill the jails in support of the demands of the sweepers appointed by the municipal bodies for regularisation of their services and also to put an end to the prevailing practice of carrying night soil. This agitation is to be held in Patna on January 5.
The RJD and the LJP have decided to counter the Congress by raising issues such as price rise and the Ranganath Mishra Commission report on reservation for minorities. A meeting was held in Patna and the two parties are following it up with another seminar at Kahlilabad in Uttar Pradesh on January 27.
Though, Mr. Paswan said, leaders from all political parties were welcome to attend the function, he underscored the Congress’ difficulties in implementing the Commission report and alleged that the Congress had actually not done much for the minorities.
Mr. Paswan was hopeful of having both the CPI and the CPI(M) on their side in taking on both the BJP-JD(U) combine and the Congress in Bihar. He was confident of the combine sweeping the polls.
He said that the secular forces had actually won two-thirds of the seats in Jharkhand as well but they stood divided because of the stand taken by the Congress that allowed the JMM to get close to the BJP.