The rift between the grand alliance partners Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress widened on Monday after the grand old party dared the former to form government in Bihar without its support. All India Congress Committee in-charge for Bihar Bhakta Charan Das said rift between the grand alliance constituents will be visible in the upcoming Assembly bypolls in the state. Das said that RJD leaders' comments are aimed at creating rift in the alliance and benefiting others.
"Congress is not a slave of the RJD. It appears that the RJD is in talks with other big political parties and therefore, the support of Congress' 19 MLAs hardly matters," he told India TV on Monday.
"For the RJD, the support of 19 MLAs is not that important. Even if a Congress candidate wins (in the bypoll), the opposition's strength will increase," he said. The Congress leader also said that reports about dialogues with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav are 'completely false'.
Ajit Sharma, the current Congress Legislative Party leader, told India TV that although the Congress and RJD are contesting the bypolls separately, party president Sonia Gandhi has the right to decide the fate of alliance. "The RJD is responsible for the current situation," he said.
Both the Congress and RJD have fielded candidates for the upcoming bypolls to Kusheshwar Asthan and Tarapur seats. The grand old party has fielded Atitek Kumar from Kusheshwar Asthan (SC reserved) and Rajesh Kumar Mishra from Tarapur. The RJD has named Ganesh Bharti and Arun Kumar from Kusheshwar Asthan and Tarapur seats, respectively.
The Congress was demanding from the RJD to leave the Kusheshwar Asthan seat. But the RJD refused. Congress staked its claim on the seat as it contested it in 2020 polls, though it lost by around 7,000 seats.
By-elections to the two seats will be held on October 30, and the results will be declared four days later, on November 3.