RJD Gets Its Way as Congress Settles for 9 Seats in Bihar Mahagathbandhan

RJD Gets Its Way as Congress Settles for 9 Seats in Bihar Mahagathbandhan
RJD Gets Its Way as Congress Settles for 9 Seats in Bihar Mahagathbandhan

New Delhi:
With less than a month to go for the first phase of polling in Bihar for Lok Sabha elections, the RJD-Congress alliance released its seat-sharing plan and list of candidates in the state.

While the RJD will be contesting on 20 seats, the Congress will field candidates for nine seats. Upendra Khuswaha’s RLSP will contest on nine seats, while the HAM and VIP will be fighting on three seats each.

According to reports, the talks between the Congress and RJD came under severe strain with the Congress demanding at least 11 out of Bihar’s 40. The 11-seat demand was already a climb down as it had initially wanted to contest on 15.

However, the Tejashwi Yadav-led party was willing to part with only nine. The Congress has been assured the first Rajya Sabha berth from the alliance as and when the vacancy arises.

Contrary to expectations, Kanhaiya Kumar, who was hopeful of a ticket from Begusarai, has not found a place. However, the RJD has given one seat to CPI(ML) from its own share of seats.

Reports had earlier suggested that the RJD is likely to contest around 20 seats, leaving the rest to smaller allies such as the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD).

However, the leading partner RJD had completed its seat-sharing talks with smaller allies and the Left parties.

According to a PTI report, the Congress was keen to bring the Left parties on board the Mahagathbandhan but the RJD was averse to it.

Interestingly, the Congress-Left Front pact in neighbouring West Bengal fell apart with both sides announcing candidates for contentious seats.

On the other hand, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners in Bihar have announced their seat distribution plan. With a total of 40 Lok Sabha seats, Bihar is key state for both the NDA and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

In 2014, BJP had won 22 seats in the state. This was followed by LJP’s six. JD (U), which had then fought the polls separately, had managed to win just two seats. The RJD had won four seats followed by the RLSP and Congress’s three and two seats, respectively. Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had won one seat.

In 2014 general elections, the Congress bagged 8.56 percent seats with RJD getting 20.46 percent votes. The BJP and JD(U) on the other hand got 52.4 percent votes.

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