Leader of the opposition in the Bihar assembly, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, filed his nomination papers from the Raghopur assembly constituency in Vaishali district on Wednesday afternoon, saying he was serious about creating a million jobs for the young if the alliance between his Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress and the Left is voted to power.
Tejashwi Prasad, who is seeking re-election from Raghopur, also took a swipe at chief minister Nitish Kumar for mocking his poll promises, especially the one about creating a million jobs, and challenged the Janata Dal (United), or JD (U), leader to fight an election against him from any seat in Nalanda, Nitish Kumar’s home district.
“ I challenge CM Kumar to contest from Nalanda from any seat he wishes and I will fight against him,” the 30-year-old politician, the younger son of RJD’s jailed leader Lalu Prasad, told reporters in Patna before leaving to file his nomination papers. “Chief minister Nitish Kumar laughs at my poll promises of providing 10 lakh jobs. But I want to tell him that I am a theth Bihari (pure Bihari) who fulfils his commitment at all costs,” he added.
In the afternoon, the RJD ‘s chief ministerial candidate submitted his nomination papers before the returning officer- cum-sub-divisional magistrate of Hajipur, flanked by RJD’s senior MLA Bhola Yadav and other leaders.
The Yadav family put on a show of unity outside their official bungalow, 10 Circular Road, in Patna where Tejashwi Prasad received the blessings of his mother and former chief minister Rabri Devi and older brother Tej Pratap Yadav.
Also Read: How will the LJP factor play out in the Bihar Assembly Election 2020?
“ Tejashwi has the blessings of me and Laluji as parents and the entire people of the state. He will register a big win in this election,” Rabri Devi said, holding a picture of her husband. “ We all miss Laluji,” she said.
Tejashwi Prasad is again taking on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Satish Kumar in a straight fight in Raghopur, which is largely a Yadav-dominated constituency and situated along the banks of the Ganga across Patna. In the 2015 election, Tejashwi Prasad, on his electoral debut, defeated Satish Kumar by a margin of 22,733 votes.
The Raghopur seat has a been stronghold of Lalu Prasad, who has represented the seat twice, while his wife was elected from the constituency in October 2005. She was defeated in the 2010 election by the BJP candidate.
The contest in Raghopur this time will not be a cakewalk for the Yadav scion because a number of senior leaders from the constituency with a big say in the organisational setup of the party, including former minister Uday Narayan Rai alias Bhola Rai, have left the party recently to join the JD(U).
“The contest is tough for Tejashwi as the BJP and JD(U) are again fighting together this time, unlike the last election. The traditional vote base of RJD ,especially Yadav votes, will be crucial and any division in the core vote base could spell trouble for the party,” said a senior RJD leader on condition of anonymity.
JD (U) fought the 2015 election in a grand alliance with the RJD and Congress, but parted ways in 2017 to join hands with the BJP.
BJP candidate Satish Kumar,who also is a Yadav, is also banking on the support of scheduled caste, extremely backward class, minority and upper caste voters in the election that will take place in the second phase on November 3.
Ahead of filing his nomination, Tejashwi Prasad, in a post on Twitter, attacked Nitish Kumar for ignoring the present and the future of Bihar in his election speeches. “ He is not talking of rampant unemployment, migration, poor education facility and deteriorating law and order situation. Now, we want accountability and answers also,” Tejashwi Prasad wrote.