Three Left parties — CPI, CPI(M) and CPI(ML) – are likely to be part of the RJD-led Opposition Grand Alliance for the upcoming Assembly elections in Bihar.
While leaders of CPI and CPI(M) leaders met RJD state president Jagdanand Singh on Wednesday, CPI(ML) leaders had spoken with RJD leaders before. Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, has authorised Singh to hold alliance-related talks with other parties.
While CPI and CPI(M) have in the past been in alliance with the RJD or the Janta Dal, its earlier parent party, if the ongoing move materialises, this would be the first time CPI(ML) will be in alliance with the Lalu Prasad-headed party.
CPI(ML) is the only Left party with presence in the current Assembly – its three MLAs represent Darauli (in Siwan district), Tarari (Bhojpur) and Balrampur (Katihar) constituencies.
While CPI has been keen on fighting the polls in Beguwarai, Khagaria, Madhubani, Banka and Siwan, the CPI(M) is learnt to be interesting in contesting some seats in north Bihar. Senior CPI(M) leader Ramdev Verma had represented Bibhutipur in Samastipur district for long.
RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tewari told The Indian Express: “Leaders of CPI and CPI(M) met our state president Jagdanand Singh and held discussions for close to two hours. We have agreed in principle about the need to contest the elections together. Discussions on seat-sharing can take place later…. We have always stressed on a broader Grand Alliance.”
CPI(ML) office secretary Kumar Parvez said: “We are ready for an alliance with the RJD – it is about seat-sharing now. We already have three seats and have a good hold on over a dozen seats in Bhojpur, Patna, Arwal and Siwan (districts). It looks like a good sign that all three Left parties are trying to be part of the Grand Alliance in Bihar.”
CPI state secretary Ramnaresh Pandey and his CPI(M) counterpart Awadhesh Kumar told the media about the need for a “united Opposition” to take on the NDA. Pandey said: “We need to contest together to stop fragmentation of votes.”
The CPI had unsuccessfully tried to get into an alliance with RJD in the last Lok Sabha elections, at least from Begusarai seat, which former JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar had contested and eventually finished third behind BJP and RJD candidates.
If the CPI does get into the Grand Alliance for the coming Assembly polls, it would be interesting to see whether Kanhaiya campaigns for the alliance and shares the dais with Tejashwi.
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