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Tejashwi’s Bihar Push: Beyond MY Factor with 10-Day Yatra and Mega Rally

Patna’s Gandhi Maidan, often seen as a political bellwether, witnessed a significant turnout during a massive rally organized by the mahagathbandhan or grand alliance, which comprises the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress, CPI-ML (Liberation), and other left parties.

The crowd enthusiastically cheered and applauded every statement made by the leader of the opposition and former deputy chief minister, Tejashwi Yadav. Yadav claimed credit for generating employment opportunities for youth during his brief tenure as deputy chief minister and vowed to continue addressing the issue of unemployment among young people. He also emphasized that the BJP remains his primary political rival.

The rally saw the presence of prominent leaders such as RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, Rabri Devi, Misa Bharti, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, CPI-ML (Liberation) leader Dipankar Bhattacharya, among others.

This rally marked the culmination of Tejashwi Yadav’s 10-day Jan Vishwas Yatra, which commenced on February 20, following Nitish Kumar’s departure from the mahagathbandhan to rejoin the NDA (National Democratic Alliance).

Covering a distance of 3,500 kilometers, the yatra attracted an unexpectedly large crowd. During the journey, Tejashwi focused on the issue of employment, asserting that the RJD is a party for all and extending beyond its traditional slogan of social justice to encompass economic justice.

To ensure a substantial turnout, the yatra strategically traversed areas considered strongholds of the RJD. Local RJD MLAs were instructed to mobilize people from their respective constituencies along the yatra route. Additionally, allied parties like the CPI-ML were tasked with rallying supporters.

Journalists covering Tejashwi’s yatra observed that while the majority of the crowd comprised core RJD supporters from the Yadav and Muslim communities, individuals from other castes also participated, albeit in smaller numbers.

The presence of predominantly young attendees at the rally, particularly from Yadav and Muslim backgrounds, suggests an increasing aspiration among youth towards Tejashwi’s leadership, fueled by his emphasis on job creation.

Tejashwi has been striving to broaden the RJD’s appeal beyond its traditional base of Muslims and Yadavs. He reiterated that the RJD represents all sections of society, emphasizing its commitment to social justice, economic development, and rights for all.

However, political analysts caution that the party must translate its inclusive rhetoric into action, especially regarding candidate selection in elections, to realize its ambition of becoming a party for all castes and creeds.

Despite challenges, Tejashwi’s focus on youth and employment resonates well on the ground, garnering support even from sections traditionally skeptical of the RJD. This evolving perception among upper castes indicates a gradual shift in their attitude towards the party.

While making strides in broadening its appeal, the RJD continues to maintain its core support base among Muslims and Yadavs, with Tejashwi’s strategy aiming to consolidate existing support while expanding its reach across caste lines.

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