Patna, Nov 16 (PTI) The Congress'' dismal performance
in the Bihar assembly elections has drawn biting criticism
from ally RJD, with party veteran leader Shivanand Tiwari
saying the grand old party had "shackled" the
''Mahagathbandhan'' in the state.
Tiwari''s remarks made during interviews with TV
channels prompted calls for his outster from the RJD.
"Congress shackled the ''Mahagathbandhan'' with chains
in the assembly elections. It contested 70 seats but did not
hold even 70 rallies.
"Rahul Gandhi visited Bihar on three days and
addressed two rallies a day. Priyanka Gandhi was not seen at
all. When electioneering was at its peak, he was picnicking
with Priyanka Gandhi in Shimla," Tiwari, who is considered
close to RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and is part of its old guard,
The Congress reacted sharply to Tiwari''s criticism.
"Shivanand Tiwari is not an official spokesman for the
RJD. He is hand in gloves with the BJP and JD(U), and is
speaking their language. He is talking like Giriraj Singh
(union minister). It''s time such a loud mouthed and mentally
bankrupt man is thrown out of his party," AICC media panel
member and MLC Prem Chandra Mishra said.
He later tweeted in Hindi that an RJD leader speaking
the "language of Giriraj Singh and Shahnawaz Hussain" is
unacceptable to the Congress.
"There is something called the coalition Dharma and
all parties should follow it," he wrote on the microblogging
RJD spokespersons Mrityunjay Tiwari and Chittaranjan
Gagan said Tiwari''s were his personal views and his statements
did not reflect the party''s stand.
"Shivanand Tiwari is a senior leader and a guardian to
us. But the views expressed by him are personal. Tejashwi
Yadav and other senior leaders of the RJD will analyse the
election outcome," Gagan said.
Congress national general secretary Tariq Anwar, who
had called for "deep introspection" following the party''s
abysmal performance in the Bihar polls, defended Rahul Gandhi,
saying the leader of a national party cannot be expected to
devote time and energy to a state poll like the leader of a
"First of all, Shivanand Tiwari is not an authorised
spokesperson for the RJD. Also, he should realise that
Congress is a national party while the RJD is a regional
entity. The leader of a national party cannot be expected to
devote time to a state election like a regional leader would,"
The Congress had contested 70 seats of the 243-member
assembly but could manage to win just 19.
Prominent Congress candidates for whom Rahul Gandhi
had campaigned but who lost included Shubhanand Mukesh, the
son of former state assembly speaker Sadanand Singh, a
multiple term MLA from Kahalgaon, and Subhashini Raj Rao, the
daughter of socialist veteran leader Sharad Yadav in
Bihariganj. PTI SK