The Lalu Prasad Yadav-led party contesting fewer seats would create space for Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samta Party
Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is willing to contest fewer seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in order to present a united face against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by accommodating smaller parties.
According to a report by the Hindustan Times, RJD is in seat-sharing talks with potential allies. If the party is successful, it could be heading a front comprising of half a dozen political parties.
RJD is in talks with Sharad Yadav's Loktantrik Janta Dal (LJD), Communist Party of India (CPI), and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (CPIML), among other parties.
The Indian National Congress and former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) are RJD's current allies in Bihar.
The party is ready to contest 20 out of the state's 40 parliamentary seats, the news daily reported. This is fewer than the 27 seats it contested in 2014 and RJD has shown willingness to give the remaining seats to its allies.
Under this arrangement, RJD has proposed one seat each to LJD, CPI, CPIML and HAM, the daily reported.
RJD keen on Upendra Kushwaha
The Lalu Yadav-led party is also hoping to get Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) on board. RJD contesting fewer seats could create space for Kushwaha's party within the fold.
Kushwaha has been mounting pressure on the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to get more seats to contest in the 2019 polls.
On November 25, Kushwaha said he was in favour of Narendra Modi returning as the prime minister in 2019, "but will not tolerate any insult" against the party.
Kushwaha, in his series of tweets, did not mention the issue of seat sharing, but demanded "justice and respect".
Kushwaha, who has openly hit out at his party's allies, has given BJP a November 30 deadline to finalise the seat-sharing formula for 2019.
RLSP had sought PM Modi's intervention to resolve NDA's seat-sharing issue in Bihar.According to a recent announcement, BJP and Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) had agreed to contest an equal number of seats in Bihar. This would have meant fewer seats for RLSP.