Lalu-Paswan Back in the High Life Again!

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) – Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) combine offices are abuzz with excitement on Friday, a day after the partners posted a spectacular showing in the by-poll to 18 assembly seats in Bihar.

The election results have breathed fresh life into party ranks and the general mood is upbeat, especially as the by-poll results were billed as a harbinger of things to come by a section of the media.

The opposition alliance bagged nine seats, while the ruling coalition of Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could muster a mere five, former alliance principality Congress bagged two seats to end a notch above the BSP that won one.

Results to the by-elections, being considered as a mini-referendum ahead of the Bihar Assembly elections scheduled for next year, have come as a rude shock for Nitish Kumar, especially as the BJP is sure to use the battering to its benefit when the partners sit down to work out seat sharing fine print.

If the pie is in the face of the ruling coalition, the Congress has walked away with the icing, for snubbing off alliance overtures by the two regional parties that had been waved off as a spent force since the thrashing they suffered in the Lok Sabha polls.

The parties, say sources, now plan to re-strengthen organization and gear up for the Assembly polls next year, a ploy that is sure to see the Lalu Prasad – Ram Vilas Paswan combo back in the political thick.

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