Patna, November 15: In the first signs of crack within Bihar's Mahagathbandhan following the election rout, senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Shivanand Tiwari put the onus on Congress for the defeat. His statements were sharply directed at former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, whom he overtly accused of showing disinterest in the poll campaign. Tarkishore Prasad Elected BJP Legislature Party Leader in Bihar, Reports Say May Replace Sushil Modi as Deputy CM.

Tiwari asked the Congress to explain their failure in majority of the 71 seats they contested under the grand alliance. The party was able to win only 19 constituencies, down from its 2015 tally of 27. The RJD veteran pointed out that "not even 70" major rallies were organised by the Congress leadership.

"Congress became a shackle for Mahagathbandhan. They had fielded 70 candidates but didn't hold even 70 public rallies. Rahul Gandhi came for three days, Priyanka didn't come, those who were unfamiliar with Bihar came here. This is not right," he said.

Watch Video: Rahul Gandhi Was Enjoying Picnic, Says Tiwari

"Elections were in full swing and Rahul Gandhi was on picnic at Priyanka ji's place in Shimla. Is party run like that? Allegations can be levelled that manner in which Congress is being run, it's benefitting BJP," he said.

Tiwari, the son of socialist leader and former Bihar CM Karpuri Thakur, said the time has come for the Congress to introspect on its role in national politics. The party, he suggested, has failed to live up to the expectation of allies in other provinces as well.

"I think this is not the case only in Bihar. In other states too Congress lays more emphasis on contesting on the maximum possible number of seats but they fail at winning the maximum possible number of seats. Congress should think about this," he added.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 15, 2020 10:43 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website