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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Bihar polls: Tejashwi announces Grand Alliance’s seat-sharing deal, Congress to contest from 70 seats

RJD will contest on 144 seats while Congress has been given 70 seats. Besides, a total of 29 seats have been allocated to three Left parties—CPI-ML (19), CPI (6), CPM (4)—to contest. 

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 3, 2020 10:38:27 pm
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The RJD-led opposition Grand Alliance in Bihar has arrived at a seat-sharing deal for the forthcoming state assembly elections, RJD’s chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav announced on Saturday.

RJD will contest on 144 seats while Congress has been given 70 seats. Besides, a total of 29 seats have been allocated to three Left parties—CPI-ML (19), CPI (6), CPM (4)—to contest.

The RJD that will contest 144 seats has left half-a-dozen seats to Mukesh Sahni’s Vikas-sheel Insaan Party (VIP). Two seats could be given to the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM). The RJD, at present, has 81 seats in the 243-member Assembly.

“All components of UPA have decided to come together as coalition for the Bihar Assembly elections. Congress, RJD, CPI, CPM & Vikassheel Insaan Party will be part of this alliance under the leadership of RJD. We want Bihar to prosper under Tejashwi Yadav,” the Congress said after the announcement.

The seat-sharing exercise gained pace after RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s emissary Bhola Yadav returned to Patna from Ranchi on Thursday with his message on the distribution of seats among different partners.

Explained | What steps has the EC taken to ensure a safe election in Bihar in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic?

On Friday, CPI(ML) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya and the party’s Bihar unit secretary, Kunal, met RJD leader Tejashwi to discuss seat-sharing details. The Left party had been seeking 20 seats. Earlier, the RJD had offered it 15 seats.

The NDA is yet to come out with the seat-sharing formula because of hard bargaining by Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP). The LJP has called a meeting of its Parliamentary board on Saturday to decide its next course of action.

Meanwhile, BSP, which is part of a three-party alliance headed by Upendra Kushwaha of RLSP, suffered a setback when its state unit president Bharat Bind quit and joined the RJD.

After being spurned by the NDA and discarded by the RJD-helmed ‘mahagathbandhan’, Kushwaha has forged an alliance with the BSP and a non-descript Janatantrik Party (Socialist) for the Bihar elections. BSP supremo Mayawati has also announced that her party would be supporting Kushwaha as the “Chief Ministerial” candidate.

The Bihar assembly elections would be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7, with the counting day on November 10.

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