While RJD was comprehensively routed in its bastions of Kosi and Seemanchal in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Congress succeeded in somewhat keeping its hopes alive in Seemanchal, where its nominee Mohammad Jawed won the Kishanganj seat, withstanding the Modi-Shah tsunami in the state. The victory in Kishanganj left the Grand Alliance with only one seat in Bihar, while the rest of the 39 seats went to the NDA.

Power couple Pappu Yadav and Ranjeet Ranjan, who were labelled as potential upsetters, lost from Madhepura and Supaul respectively to JD(U). Md Taslimuddin’s political legacy in Seemanchal received a huge blow and was unable to withstand the BJP-JD(U) combination.

“Yes, we were wrong in our strategy, which led to our crushing defeat but we have not lost our hopes as we were able to retain our Kishanganj seat. We need to restructure and re-energise our party from the grassroots level, ” said Bihar state Congress party spokesperson BK Thakur.

NDA won five out of six seats in Seemanchal and Kosi, recording the coalition’s best ever tally in the regions.

Mohammad Jawed of Congress won from Kishanganj by defeating JD-U’s Mahmud Asraf. All India Majlis-e-ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) had fielded Akhatrul Iman from on this seat, which made the contest a triangular one.

BJP which contested from just one seat in Araria, succeeded by defeating Sarfaraz Alam of RJD, who had won the seat in a by-election held after the death of veteran RJD leader Taslimuddin.

“Sarfaraz failed to preserve the political legacy left by his father.RJD was hopeful that the family would be able to carry on the legacy of Taslimuddin but the result proved to be a big blow, ” said a senior RJD leader.

Arun Kumar Yadav, seior RJD leader from Araria said,“The party needs restructuring or we won’t be able to deliver better results in the upcoming assembly polls.”

In Seemanchal and Kosi, which comprises six parliamentary seats, JD (U) won four seats (Katihar, Purnia, Madhepura and Supaul) while BJP won from Araria.

The May 23 verdict is likely to be a big blow to leaders like Tariq Anwar, Sharad Yadav, Pappu Yadav and Uday Singh.

“Apart from Pappu Yadav, all these leaders are above seventy and it was possibly their last Lok Sabha polls,” said Ram Prakash Chaudhary, a retired professor of political science. “Today a leader has to compete with Narendra Modi and these leaders are too old to keep pace with him in the next LS polls.”

Sharad Yadav had already announced that the 2019 Lok Sabha elections would be his last

First Published:
May 25, 2019 10:08 IST

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