TNW, Patna, July 24: Since losing the 2019 general election Rashtriya Janta Dal is on mission to expand its social base. In the lok sabha election, the party strategy to realign the lower castes and Dalits, similar as the initial years of Lalu Yadav’s rule, by bringing in Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), Vikassheel Insan Partry (VIP) and Hindustani Awami Morcha (HAM) in Grand alliance fold miserably failed to make any impact.
In such a scenario, RJD has revised its electoral strategy and striving to woo Rajput voters who are to some to extent known to vote in favour of candidates belonging to the community, irrespective of the party they represent.
The RJD has reasons to believe that this may turn out to be effective. In 2009 lok Sabha election, among 4 RJD M.P.’s who won, three where Rajputs; the lone Yadav Who won then was Lalu himself. On the other hand, the party think tank is of the view that if RJD get success in tucking away a sizeable Rajput votes it will cost NDA dearly.
Hence, the first major decision that the Lalu Yadav party took after the 2019 debacle was to install Jagdanand Singh, a widely respected Rajput leader of the party as state president. The ex-RJD M.P. from Buxar has sizeable hold in the western part of Bihar. He is still remembered for his work as state water resources Minister during Lalu-Rabri rule.
The recent episode involving senior RJD leader, Raghuwansh Prasad Singh and ex-LJP M.P., Rama Singh, both Rajputs, over the later’s inclusion in party highlights the RJD’s eagerness to expand its base among the community.
Though the party has many upper caste leaders from other dominated castes like Shivanand Tiwari, Manoj Jha and Mirtunjay Tiwari who belong to Barhamin community while recently nominated Rajya Sabha M.P. Amarendra Dhari Singh comes from Bhumihar community, yet it is Rajputs whom RJD finds amenable.
RJD which was formed on July 5, 1997 after splitting from the then Janta Dal, its Supremo Lalu Yadav had even in the post-mandal days of early 1990’s some good upper caste friends. Raghunath Jha, Narendra Singh and Shiv Chandra Jha, Vashisht Narayan Singh etc. were some of other upper caste leader who used to be part of Lalu’s team—besides, those mentioned above.