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Last Updated : Feb 11, 2019 10:29 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Congress, RJD to resume seat-sharing talks after Budget Session; tightrope walk with Left continues

There are some seats where both Congress and RJD are keen to contest from.

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Constituents of the Opposition’s Mahagathbandhan are likely to meet next week to take their seat-sharing discussions for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections forward.

The partners are expected to meet after the ongoing Budget session of Parliament ends on February 13.

The alliance’s current constituents include the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Indian National Congress, Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD), Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP), former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav is currently conducting the ‘Berojgari Hatao, Aarakshan Badhao (end unemployment, raise reservation)’ campaign.

According to a report in The Economic Times, the alliance’s principle party in Bihar -- the RJD – wants to first work out its seat-sharing formula with the Congress. After this, it would accommodate the remaining parties and the Left front.

There are some seats where both the Congress and RJD are keen to contest from. Bihar has a total of 40 Lok Sabha seats.

Tightrope walk with the Left

Both RJD and the Congress are reportedly keen on taking the Left parties on board. This is because the Left front has a considerable support in certain areas of the state.

However, the two parties may not be able to spare more than two-to-three seats to be able to accommodate other parties.

“The problem with Communist Party of India (CPI) is that it wants to retain its status as a national party and so wants to contest at least six seats,” a source told the newspaper.

The CPI is hoping to contest from Begusarai and Madhubani. It wants to field former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) President Kanhaiya Kumar from Begusarai.

The RJD has, however, not accepted CPI’s plan so far, the report added.

There is likely to be some tussle among partners over some seats. According to a report, CPI(M) wants to field Ram Deo Verma from Ujiarpur constituency -- from where even the RLSP is keen on contesting.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) wants to contest from Siwan, Ara, Jahanabad and Karakat. But RLSP is keen on Jahanabad too. RLSP may also contest from Karakat, where Kushwaha is the sitting Member of Parliament (MP).

In 2014, BJP had won 22 seats in the state. This was followed by Lok Janshakti Party (LJP)’s six. Janata Dal (United), which had then fought the polls separately, had managed to bag just two seats. RJD had won four seats, followed by RLSP and Congress’ three and two seats, respectively. Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had won just one seat.
First Published on Feb 11, 2019 10:29 am
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