Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala slipped in a small compliment for Bihar politician Tejashwi Yadav on Wednesday for his performance in the state elections, praising the 31-year-old who fought bitterly against his ally BJP.
“I congratulate Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi. People of have reposed their faith in them. Tejaswhi Yadav fought very well. He’s young and energetic. The future can be his. But it is also a record that Nitish Kumar is going to be Chief Minister of the seventh time. Best wishes to him for that,” he said, when asked to comment on the Bihar outcome.
Mr Chautala’s Jannayak Janata Party or JJP is part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which is represented in Bihar by Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) and the BJP.
The NDA, which got 125 seats of the states 243, retained power in Bihar but Nitish Kumar’s party won only 43 seats compared to ally BJP’s 74.
Tejashwi Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) which fought the polls in alliance with the Congress and the Left, was the single-largest party with 75 seats. The alliance won 110 seats.
The NDA was announced as winner of the Bihar election in the early hours of Wednesday after weeks of shrill campaigning, three phases of voting and over 18 hours of counting.
Many praised Tejashwi Yadav’s performance noting that the Congress, which contested 70 seats but won only 19, may have been the biggest reason for the opposition’s failure.
Last year, it was 32-year-old Dushyant Chautala who had won an outsized mandate in the Haryana elections, forcing the BJP to tie up with him to stay in power.
The BJP gave the Deputy Chief Minister’s post to Mr Chautala who said his party believed the alliance was necessary for stability after the fractured result.