With the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) likely to join the Grand Alliance (GA) bandwagon ahead of the Lok Sabha (LS) elections in Bihar, seat sharing among the allies is set to be a major headache.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has already made it clear to fight at least 20 of the total 40 parliamentary seats, while the Congress has been told to adjust its candidates and other partners in the rest constituencies.
All India Congress Committee (AICC) treasurer Ahmed Patel’s meeting with RLSP chief and former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha late on Saturday has led to the talk that the latter may also become part of the GA. Kushwaha recently resigned as a Union minister after his party was offered only two seats for the upcoming LS elections.
The RLSP, which held its workers’ meeting in Patna after quitting the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), said it wanted an “honourable number of seats” in the general elections. “Last time, the party had contested three seats and won them. This time, we are looking to contest at least five-six seats,” said a senior RLSP leader.
The Congress, which had last time fought 12 seats in alliance with the RJD and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), is likely to field its candidates on at least 15 LS seats. “Being the national party, the Congress has every right to contest a reasonable number of seats. However, as our prime objective is to dethrone the BJP, the Congress is obliged to make some compromises,” said a working president of the Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC).
However, the Congress victory in Madhya Pradesh, Rajsthan and Chattisgarh has emboldened party workers to demand a larger share of seats. Quakab Quadri, another working president of BPCC, had earlier said the RJD should desist from acting like ‘big brother’ in the seat-sharing talks.
Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) too is eyeing four to five seats in the LS polls. Former minister and HAM leader Ajit Kumar claimed that his was the second largest party in the GA after RJD and hence expected a reasonable seat offer.
Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) chief and former JD (U) president Sharad Yadav plans to field his party candidates on three to four seats. Yadav had lost parliamentary election from Madhepura seat to RJD nominee Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav.
Sharad Yadav is said to be making efforts for the entry of RJD rebel and Jan Adhikar Party leader Pappu Yadav into into the GA. RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav had earlier announced that the party would not give ticket to Pappu Yadav, nor extend him any support in the LS polls.
AICC media panellist and Member of Legislative Council Prem Chandra Mishra, however, said the seat sharing issued among the GA allies would be resolved amicably. “It will not be allowed to affect the coalition of like-minded parties against the NDA in Bihar. AICC seniors are looking into the seat-sharing issue,” said Mishra.
First Published: Dec 17, 2018 09:36 IST
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