After the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) played a crucial role in the RJD’s victory in the recent Bochahan Assembly bypoll, by splitting NDA votes, the relations between the two parties are set to get warmer.
The RJD has reached out to EBC leader and VIP chief Mukesh Sahani, with invitation for the iftar party being hosted by its senior leaders Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Prasad Yadav on Friday.
The RJD has also invited Jamui MP and Lok Janshakti Party (Ramvilas) leader Chirag Paswan as part of its iftar diplomacy.
The gestures are part of the RJD’s self-confessed goal of expanding its politics beyond Muslims-Yadavs or M-Y to “A to Z”. It has already made an offer to Chirag to join the Grand Alliance.
While Chirag appears to be still hedging his bets, there are few options left for him. With his uncle floating another party and replacing him essentially as the BJP ally, and given Nitish Kumar’s presence as the prime NDA face in Bihar, Chirag may not find a space in that tie-up.
For Sahani too, options are limited. The VIP was part of the RJD-led Grand Alliance, before it parted ways before the 2020 Assembly polls. Now, with the NDA having unceremoniously sidelined him by taking away all his MLAs, it is his chance to remain relevant in Bihar politics.
That the Sahani vote remains crucial is undeniable. In the Bochahan bypoll, the margin of loss for BJP candidate Baby Kumari was over 36,000 votes while Sahani’s candidate Geeta Kumari got over 29,000 votes, with the RJD slipping through in the bargain.
The RJD appears to be planning ahead for the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, which are still some distance away. In the 2020 Assembly polls, it had emerged as the single-largest party, ahead of both the BJP and JD(U). With its other allies Congress, CPM and CPI steadfast behind it, the RJD will welcome any other extra hand.