The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has ruled out the possibility of Lalu Yadav's son Tejashwi giving up the reins of the party in the wake of its abysmal electoral performance in Bihar, sources said today. It has instead given him the mandate to lead the RJD-led opposition alliance as its chief ministerial candidate in the assembly elections next year, they added.
The RJD arrived at this conclusion a day after one of its legislators revolted over the regional party drawing up a blank in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. "Tejashwi Yadav should take moral responsibility and resign as the leader of opposition," Maheshwar Yadav, the legislator from Muzaffarpur's Gaighat assembly seat, had demanded on Monday. He also accused imprisoned RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav of turning the party into his "personal fiefdom".
Incidentally, the party's decision comes at a time when opposition leaders across the country - ranging from Congress president Rahul Gandhi to Uttar Pradesh party head Raj Babbar - have quit their positions after taking "moral responsibility" for the dismal performance in the elections.
The RJD had called a two-day meeting to review its worst-yet electoral debacle since the party's formation in 1997 today. However, on its very first day, all the 19 candidates who were summoned reportedly termed the results as a "conspiracy" and formed a committee to look into the matter. The party will discuss the results with other allies tomorrow, following which a legislature party meeting is slated to be called. Similar resolutions are expected to be passed at that event too, sources said.
Tejashwi Yadav's mercurial sibling -- Tej Pratap -- also came out in his support earlier today, maintaining that he was not responsible for the grand alliance's losses in Bihar. "I have written to my dear brother, telling him that victory and defeat are part and parcel of life. But running away is not the solution; we should now stop blaming each other for the defeat and start thinking about how we can drag the enemy out of our homes," news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
"The BJP-led NDA has fooled the people of India. Tejashwi and I will go to them and explain how they are being manipulated," he added.
The RJD's seat count dropped from four to zero in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections, which spelled bad news for most opposition parties in the country. The BJP-led NDA, on the other hand, bagged 39 of Bihar's 40 seats.
(With inputs from Agencies)
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