The Grand Alliance in Bihar seems to be inching closer to a seat-sharing deal by working out a “163 plus 80” formula between leading constituents RJD and Congress for the upcoming Assembly polls.
Bihar has 243 Assembly seats, of which 81 and 27 are currently held by the RJD and Congress, respectively. The two parties have now agreed that the RJD will try to accommodate Vikasshil Insaan Party (VIP) and potential allies CPI-ML and BSP from its quota of 163 seats, while the Congress will adjust the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, Hindustani Awam Party (Secular) and potential ally CPI within its quota, according to sources in the two parties.
AICC Bihar in-charge Shakti Sinh Gohil had recently been in Patna.
“As there are too many allies, it is the job of two leading parties to accommodate juniors. Now the first task is to see which 80 seats the Congress gets to contest. Three senior leaders have been in talks with RJD,” a Congress leader said, adding that the party should have bargained for 10 more seats considering there were many allies to accommodate.
An RJD leader said there could be several rounds of talks between the RJD, Congress and other allies, but there had been a broad understanding on seats between the two major alliance constituents. “We are looking to rope in Left parties to broadbase our alliance. It is now a matter of the number of seats all constituents settle with,” the party source said.
However, with too many ambitious allies such as the RLSP, HAM (S) and even Left parties, the RJD and Congress have a tough job on hand to keep them in the alliance fold.
Asked about the “163 plus 80” formula, RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari said, “We cannot say anything about it as it is just the beginning of seat-sharing talks. We are major constituents. We want a strong alliance.”
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