RJD, Congress agree on seat-sharing deal for Bihar
The RJD and Congress finalised a seat-sharing agreement for Bihar on Wednesday, said Lalu Prasad Yadav. The Congress has agreed to leave the “contentious” Madhubani seat for the RJD, and Lalu Prasad has agreed to give 12 seats — one more than his earlier offer to the Congress.
As per the initial reports, Congress will fight from Sasaram, Kishanganj, Hajipur, Samastipur, Gopalganj, Nalanda, Patna Sahib, Supaul, Purnia, Valmiki Nagar, Aurangabad and Muzafarpur.
The Congress scaled down its position after the JD(U) rejected its last-moment offer for an alliance, and Lalu began to campaign on his own.
The Congress, which wanted Madhubani for its senior leader Shakil Ahmed, agreed to leave it for the RJD’s Abdul Bari Siddiqui, reopening the door for talks. In return, the RJD has agreed to give Sitamarhi and Khagaria to the Congress, and help the party get representation in the Bihar Legislative Council after its lone MLC Kumari Jyoti’s term ends.
Sources said the RJD had initially agreed to give Nawada to the Congress, but Lalu announced his own candidate during a public meeting in Rajauli, Nawada, on Monday. “It was tough posturing to impress upon the Congress the need to strike a deal fast. We knew the Congress was in talks with JD(U). There was bound to be some posturing,” an RJD source said.