Congress skips Grand Alliance meeting in Patna

first_imgAmid dissenting voices demanding introspection and accountability over the past few days, the Rashtriya Janata Dal on Wednesday asserted that the party is united and would contest the next State Assembly elections scheduled for 2020 under Tejashwi Yadav’s leadership. RJD leaders also said Mr. Yadav would continue as the Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly. Alliance partner Congress, however, was a no-show at a Mahagathbandhan meeting later in the day.“With the [general election] defeat we’re down but not out. A day before the poll, communal forces conspired to rob our vote bank with its money power. We will introspect and do a booth-wise survey of our defeat…we’ve taken the drubbing as a challenge,” State RJD chief Ram Chandra Purve told journalists after the conclusion of the party’s meeting on Wednesday.The RJD had called a two-day meeting of party leaders and legislators to mull over its humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha poll. The party contested 20 of the State’s 40 parliamentary seats as part of a Grand Alliance but couldn’t win any, ally Congress picking up a solitary seat.At the meeting, a three-member panel comprising senior party leaders Jagdanand Singh, Abdul Bari Siddiqui and Alok Mehta was constituted to interact with party workers and leaders to ascertain the reasons behind the party’s poor performance in the Lok Sabha poll. The panel will submit its report in two weeks.Earlier, senior party leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh had said that “delay in seat-sharing arrangement and uneven distribution of tickets” had led to party’s defeat. He also had admitted that the Grand Alliance was not united from the start and existed “only on paper”. Mr. Singh, who lost in Vaishali against Lok Janshakti Party candidate Veena Devi, also held the rift between Mr. Yadav and Tej Pratap, the two sons of party chief Lalu Prasad, as one of the reasons for the party’s drubbing.After the conclusion of the RJD’s two-day meeting, Grand Alliance leaders reached former CM Rabri Devi’s residence for a meeting. Alliance party leaders Sharad Yadav, Upendra Kushwaha and Mukesh Sahni attended the meeting but no leader from the State Congress turned up.“I was not aware of any such meeting,” said State Congress chief Madan Mohan Jha.last_img

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