Patna, Dec 21 (PTI) RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Monday called upon party workers to brace for mid-term polls in Bihar, saying fresh elections could take place 'any time, even in 2021'.
Yadav made the remarks at a party meeting in Patna that saw him interacting with all the RJD candidates for the recently held assembly polls, successful and otherwise, besides top office-bearers.
An RJD source said, 'Tejashwi told party workers that there was no time for complacency since the government could fall and elections take place in 2021.' Talking to reporters later, Yadav said, 'I have indeed asked our workers to be ready for elections. It would not be surprising if fresh elections take place sooner than expected.' In the assembly polls, which concluded last month, the RJD emerged as the single-largest party with 75 seats but the five-party Grand Alliance helmed by it fell short of achieving a majority.
The ruling NDA retained power, winning a slender majority. JD(U) president Nitish Kumar returned as the chief minister though his party finished with a dismal tally of just over 40, while the BJP won 74.
Moreover, eight seats were won by the Hindustani Awam Morcha of former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and Vikassheel Insaan Party of minister Mukesh Sahni, both of whom were with the Grand Alliance till a few months ago.
Yadav is the second prominent politician from Bihar, after Lok Janshakti Party chief Chirag Paswan, to have predicted mid-term polls.
Paswan, whose party opened a front against the JD(U) and pulled out of the NDA ahead of the elections, had made a similar prediction soon after the results of the polls were declared. His party could bag only one seat though it succeeded in badly hitting the JD(U).
Yadav, who had met his jailed father and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad at Ranchi recently, also said 'stern action' would be taken against those who were found guilty of having worked against the party's official candidates during elections 'hoping that this would boost their own prospects in future'.
He also said that after Makar Sankranti he would hold a 'Dhanyawad Yatra' (thanksgiving tour), covering all 38 districts of the state who 'reposed their trust in us though the NDA retained power through deceit and subterfuge'.
The RJD leader has been alleging that results were tilted in favour of the NDA by pliant officials in districts, which witnessed close contests between candidates of the BJP- led coalition and the Grand Alliance.
Yadav has been underscoring the fact that the NDA had garnered just a little over 12,000 votes more than the Grand Alliance across the 243 assembly segments but this resulted in a difference of 25 between the respective tallies of the two coalitions.
Yadav also pointed towards recent incidents like the attack on the vehicle of a judicial officer in Nalanda district and charged 'this shows it is maha jungle raj in Bihar'.
The epithet of 'jungle raj' is often used by the RJD's opponents to describe the alleged lawlessness that prevailed while the party was in power until its rout in 2005.
'The NDA is promising 80 lakh jobs in Bengal. They should first walk the talk on their promise of 19 lakh jobs here,' Yadav added. PTI NAC SOM SOM