The anti-BJP alliance in poll-bound Bihar suffered a setback on Wednesday with Sharad Pawar’s NCP deciding to pull out after it was given a mere three seats out of the total 243 seats.
NCP leader Tariq Anwar said he has convened a meeting of party leaders to decide the future course of action and said that the party could even go alone in the state.
“I wanted to be with the JDU-RJD-Congress alliance, but since they don’t want NCP, they are not knowing my contribution,” Anwar said.
At a press conference to announce the alliance, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told reporters that the Nationalist Congress Party has been with them in the recent election for Legislative Council 24 seats and they would like it to be with them in the Assembly polls.
Kumar indicated that three seats would be given to Sharad Pawar’s party if they join the combine.
Calling the BJP a “kursi bachao party”, Kumar said that there was no ambiguity about seat sharing and added that the alliance would chalk out a common minimum programme with all the constituent parties holding a joint poll campaign from September.
The alliance will formally launch its poll campaign from Patna’s Gandhi Maidan on August 30 with a Swabhiman rally. Nitish had earlier said that the rally would be held on August 29. The rally will now coincide with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to Bhagalpur, where he may announce a special package for Bihar.
(With ENS inputs)