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The Economic Times

In absence of chief Lalu Prasad: RJD to take stock in July first week

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RJD has yet to finalise the agenda for the upcoming national executive meeting, which will be the first to be held in the absence of the party chief.
NEW DELHI: The national executive of the Rashtriya Janata Dal is likely to meet in Patna in the first week of July to review its poor performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Bihar and the challenges it faces to retain its traditional support base in the state.

Having failed to win even a single Lok Sabha seat in the state for the first time, the party, whose founder Lalu Prasad is serving a jail sentence in the fodder scam case, faces an uncertain future.

“Beginning from July 6, the two-day national executive meeting of the RJD will be politically important for the party. Apart from reviewing the party’s poor performance in the recent Lok Sabha polls, RJD leaders will discuss possible strategy for the 2020 Bihar assembly polls,” an RJD member told ET.

However, he said, the RJD has yet to finalise the agenda for the upcoming national executive meeting, which will be the first to be held in the absence of the party chief.

Another party member said, “At the national executive meeting, we hope that RJD leaders will focus on possible ways to bring back ati-pichhara (extremely backward) voters into the RJD fold.”

“RJD leadership is looking for such party functionaries who can dedicate their total energy to strengthening the party organisation at ground level. So, the party is all set to discuss new methods for proper booth management across the state,” said an RJD leader.

Questions are also being raised in the party over continuation of its alliance with smaller political parties in Bihar, said RJD members.

One of the persons cited earlier, however, said that the upcoming meeting might focus primarily on strategy for the 2020 assembly polls.
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