Opposition alliance in Bihar makes little headway on seat-sharing; formal talks not held yet as Lalu Prasad Yadav in jail
The Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress are yet to have formal talks on seat-sharing issue in Bihar, mainly because RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav is in jail in fodder scam case.
Patna (Bihar): Days after the National Democratic Party (NDA) announced its seat-sharing arrangement for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Bihar, all eyes are now on the Opposition alliance of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress and some other parties which appear to have made no headway on the issue.
According to sources, the two parties are yet to have formal talks on the issue of seat-sharing, mainly because RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav is in jail in fodder scam case.
"Lalu isn't easily available for all parties (of the potential allies) to discuss each and every issue," said a party source.
On Lalu's behalf, his younger son Tejaswi is managing the party's politics but considering the seat-sharing talks, he is junior in front of leaders of the Congress and other potential allies like Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM), the source noted.
The potential allies of the "mahagathbandhan" do not feel free to talk to him on every issue, the source added.
The issue has also got complicated because of the Congress' improvement on the electoral front recently as it wrested power from BJP in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
While the RJD, which emerged as the largest party in the last Bihar Assembly elections with 81 MLAs, is claiming tickets for 20 out of 40 Lok Sabha seats, the Congress is not ready to compromise, the sources said.
A Congress source said, "We are strong at national level now, considering the way we performed in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. So why should we compromise."
The two parties also have to make seat-sharing adjustments for parties like Hindustan Awam Morcha headed by Jeetan Ram Manjhi which won only one seat in the last Assembly elections but is demanding 10 seats.
Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), which recently quit NDA, will also have to be given some seats, if it contests along with the 'grand alliance'.
The ruling NDA alliance has already announced its seat-sharing arrangement under which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal United (JDU) will contest 17 seats each while the LJP will contest six seats in Bihar.
JD(U) leader and spokesperson Arvind Nishad took a dig at the Opposition alliance, saying, " in mahagathbandhan, all parties and leaders are very ambitious."
BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said, "Where is mahagathbandhan and who is the leader of this gathbandhan?"
The alliance is now waiting for Lalu's bail to sort out the difficult situation.
The 43 Assembly seats are spread across four districts – Uttar Dinajpur, Nadia, North 24 Parganas, and Purba Bardhaman
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