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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Opposition set to close seat deal in Bihar: RJD 138, Congress 68, Left 29

Bihar elections: The development came on a day Congress president Sonia Gandhi addressed a virtual rally and launched a scathing attack on the BJP-led Union government.

Written by Santosh Singh , Dipankar Ghose , Manoj C G | New Delhi, Patna | Updated: October 3, 2020 8:39:02 am
bihar election, bihar election 2020 news, bihar assembly election, jdu candidate list 2020, rjd candidate list 2020, bihar assembly election 2020 news, bihar assembly election 2020 date, bihar assembly election result date, bihar election news, bihar election 2020, bihar assembly election 2020, bihar chunav, bihar chunav news, bihar rjd, bihar rjd news, nitish kumar, nitish kumar jdu, bihar news, bihar elections newsVoting for 243 assembly constituencies in the state will be held in three phases -- October 28 (71 seats), November 3 (94 seats) and November 7 (78 seats). The counting of votes will take place on November 10.

After days of negotiations and hard bargaining, the RJD-led opposition Grand Alliance in Bihar on Friday seemed to have more or less arrived at a seat-sharing arrangement, although the parties are yet to make an official announcement on the details, as they are said to be keeping an eye on the developments in the NDA.

The development came on a day Congress president Sonia Gandhi addressed a virtual rally and launched a scathing attack on the BJP-led Union government.

Sources in the Congress claimed the RJD has agreed to give it 68 to 70 seats. The Congress had contested 41 seats in 2015, winning 27.

Read| After loyalty ‘warning’ from Lalu Prasad, RJD not ready to give Congress more than 60 seats

While one Congress leader said 68 is the final number, another leader said, “The number we have is 69, but we are pushing for one more seat.”

Sources in the Left confirmed that between the three parties they have been allotted 29 seats. The CPI is set to get six seats, while the CPI(M) is likely to fight on four. The CPI(ML), which has three MLAs in the current House, is set contest 19 seats, leaders said.

The RJD will contest around 138 seats, leaving half-a-dozen seats to Mukesh Sahni’s Vikas-sheel Insaan Party (VIP). Two seats could be given to the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), it is learnt.

Sources said that the parties are to resolve claims and counterclaims on certain specific seats. These differences, they said, are now based only on specific decisions on which party best fits what seat, and that there is now very little chance of anyone walking away, with an agreement broadly in place.

Shyam Rajak (left) with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav in Patna.

“The RJD, for instance, at the moment will have 138 seats. Based on final, ground-level checks on winnability, this can go up one or two seats, or may come down one,” a senior leader said.

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

Kunal later said, “Our talks with RJD went well. There will be final rounds of discussion before any official announcement is made.”

RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tewari said, “We are close to announcing our tie-up with Left parties. The RJD-Congress-Left would be a formidable alliance against NDA.”

A senior Congress leader said the parties are keeping an eye on the developments in the NDA, which 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, addressing a “Gandhi Chetna Rally” to mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Congress president launched a scathing attack on the BJP. “Today, some people swear by Gandhiji’s name but demolish his ideals and principles through their actions,” Sonia said. “There is violence, anarchy, atrocities…mistreatment everywhere. Deliberately an environment of discrimination has been created in the society where atrocities are being inflicted on innocent people.

“Enough is enough. I want to say that some people are running the government by creating an atmosphere of emotion, confusion and fear (bhavna, bhram aur bhay). You (people) need to remain alert and cautious and take the right decisions.”

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