The Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) in Bihar will announce the seat-sharing arrangement between partners at a press conference on March 22, Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) chief Sharad Yadav told news agency ANI.
The Congress was previously locked in several rounds of hectic negotiations with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD. It appears the two parties have reached an agreement after the Congress scaled down its demand for 11 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, sources told The Indian Express.
Sources said the RJD will contest on 20 seats, with the remaining 20 seats to be contested by allies. The Congress gets nine seats, Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP will get four seats, Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM(S) is to get three, and Mukesh Sahni’s Vikasheel Insaf Party and Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal are to get two seats each.
A senior Congress high command leader told The Indian Express that the alliance in Bihar is “very much intact” despite the pulls and pressures and signalled the pact could be announced in Patna Wednesday.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi and RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav are learnt to have spoken over the phone. However, there is no confirmation of whether the CPI and CPI-ML are part of the alliance in Bihar, though both Left parties are still hopeful of RJD taking them into the fold.
Meanwhile, there is a fresh complication in Jharkhand, with the RJD not backing down on its demand for two seats. The Left parties too are demanding one seat. The broad understanding was that the Congress will contest on seven seats, with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha on four, Babulal Marandi’s Jharkhand Vikas Morcha on two, and the RJD on one seat. With the RJD not relenting on its demand for two seats and the Left keen on one seat, the JMM now is learnt to have lobbed the ball on to the Congress’s court.