Bihar polls: Grand Alliance leaders to hold meeting to finalise seat-sharing

New Delhi/Patna, Sep 10 : Even though the dates for the Bihar Assembly election are yet to be announced, the opposition Grand Alliance, comprising of Tejashwi Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Congress, Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), Mukesh Sahni-led Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) and the Left parties, is set to hold a meeting in the national capital to discuss the sest-sharing formula.

According to a senior RJD leader in Delhi, the formal discussion over the seat-sharing issue is to be held in the national capital in the next four to five days.

The RJD leader, wishing not to be named, said that leaders of all the parties will be holding an important meeting to discuss the issue, as the Election Commission is set to announce the poll dates for the 243-member Bihar Assembly later this month.

According to a recent statement from the poll panel, the election will be completed in Bihar by November 29 this year.

Another senior RJD leader related to the development said that the party will get the maximum seat share in the state followed by the Congress, Left, the RLSP and the VIP.

Congress Election Campaign Committee chief Akhilesh Prasad Singh in Patna told IANS, “Due to delay in the seat-sharing formula we faced some issues, but we are confident of finalising the seat-sharing in next few days.”

Singh also said that there is no rift in the Grand Alliance over the issue of seat-sharing.

An RLSP leader told IANS that the RJD would be contesting on over 150 to 160 seats while the Congress will get about 45-50 seats, followed by Left parties, RLSP and the VIP.

He said that the seat-sharing formula will be finalised by September 20.

The RLSP leader also said that the Kushwaha is expecting about 25-35 seats in Bihar.

In the last fortnight, former Chief Minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular chief Jitan Ram Manjhi joined the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the state after dumping the Grand Alliance.

In the 2015 Assembly polls, the RJD contested on 101 seats and emerged as the biggest party in the state by winning 80 seats while its then ally Janata Dal-United won 71 seats as part of the alliance.

On the other hand its current ally Congress won 27 out of 41 seats it contested.

The JD-U however, a year later ditched the Grand Alliance and formed the government with the BJP in the state.

The RLSP leader said that this time there is a lot of anti-incumbency against the Nitish Kumar government in the state as he failed on his promises of providing jobs, education and health.

“If the parties keep their egos at bay while discussing the seat-sharing formula, then it is sure that Grand Alliance will be able to defeat the ruling NDA in Bihar,” the RLSP leader added.

Meanwhile, the RJD, earlier in the day received a major jolt as the party’s veteran leader and former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh quit the party after writing to party supremo Lalu Prasad, who is currently admitted in RIMS in Ranchi and is undergoing a jail term in connection with the fodder scam.

The RJD has faced several resignations in the last one-and-a-half months.

The RJD has been critical of the Nitish Kumar government over the handling of migrant workers’ crisis, Covid-19 pandemic and the flood situation in the state.

The RJD also launched ‘9 Baje, 9 Minute’ campaign to demand employment for the youth in Bihar on Wednesday night by lighting lanterns, which is also its election symbol.

–IANS

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