The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the main opposition in Bihar and the spearhead of the Grand Alliance (GA), or the Mahagathbandhan (MGB), has decided to boycott the oath-taking ceremony of the new National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, led by chief minister and Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar.
The oath-taking ceremony of the NDA government will be held at Raj Bhawan at 4.30 pm on Monday. The programme will be attended by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president JP Nadda, Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah and the party’s national general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh.
The RJD said the people’s mandate was against the NDA and branded it a “puppet government”.
The party tweeted that the mandate for change in the recently held three-phase Bihar assembly polls was against the NDA.
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“The RJD is boycotting the swearing-in ceremony of the ‘puppet’ government. The people’s mandate has been changed to the rule of the government. Ask the unemployed, farmers, students, youth, contractual teachers and staff what they are going through. The public is angry with the irregularities in the election results and manipulation by the NDA. The RJD, as public representative, stands with the people (of Bihar),” the tweet alleged.
The reference to the “puppet government” is seen as an indirect attack on Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to imply how the JD(U) president has been propped up by the BJP for the top job. The criticisms come amid the JD (U)’s poor show in the Bihar polls, as it won only 43 seats in the 243-member legislative assembly. The BJP, which was once a junior ally to the JD (U) in the NDA, emerged as the second single-largest party in the state with 74 seats and only next to the main rival, the RJD, which bagged 75 seats.
The RJD’s tweet implied that the BJP could play a larger role in state politics on the back of its numerically superior strength in the state assembly.
RJD scion Tejashwi Prasad Yadav (31), who was the GA’s CM face in the assembly polls, her mother and former state CM Rabri Devi (61), and other party leaders have decided to boycott the swearing- in ceremony.
“No RJD leader will attend the swearing-in ceremony,” said a close aide of Tejashwi.
Other GA allies such as the Congress and three Left parties will also follow suit.
The RJD and its allies have alleged widespread irregularities in the counting process, which concluded in the early hours on November 11. The delay was because the counting was held amid the spectre of the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
The RJD is planning to move court after over two dozen of its candidates had lost the election by a slender margin because of “irregularities in the counting process”.
The RJD and its ally, the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation, which won 12 seats, have announced that they would continue to raise burning issues that confront the state such as unemployment, migration, poverty and corruption in a bid to corner the Kumar-led NDA government.