RJD makes final offer of 11 seats to Congress in Bihar

first_imgThough only a few days are left for the general elections to be notified, Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Congress and the allies have not been able to finalise the seat distribution in Bihar. According to sources, the RJD has made a final offer of 11 Lok Sabha seats to the Congress, which in turn has been demanding 14 seats. The Congress fought on 12 seats during the 2014 election but managed to win only two. Of the 40 seats in Bihar, four are with the RJD.The RJD is driving a hard bargain and senior RJD leaders said they would want to be consulted on the candidates the Congress decides to field. More than the number of seats, the choice of seats offered to the Congress is creating a problem, a senior Congress leader said. ‘Cordial ties’ The RJD claims that the seat distribution is in the final stages and will be finalised in 48 hours. But the Congress is not sounding optimistic. Congress general secretary in-charge Shakti Sinh Gohil told The Hindu that the talks were still on and a decision can be expected only after the Congress Working Committee meeting in Ahmedabad to be held on March 12. “We have cordial and good relations and at an appropriate time, we will announce,” Mr. Gohil said.The Congress is keen to give tickets to outsiders, including BJP rebels Kirti Azad and Shatrughan Sinha. It is equally eager to take leaders such as Pappu Yadav and Anant Singh on board, who have been at odds with the RJD for a long time.The RJD is also not keen to concede seats to the CPI(M) or the CPI claiming that in Bihar, the CPI(ML) is the only Left party worth giving space to. Equally, there is the problem of accommodating other allies like Jitan Ram Manjhi of the Hindustan Awam Morcha, former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha and Jan Loktantrik Party chief Sharad Yadav. Sources said Mr. Kushwaha may get three seats but Mr. Manjhi may get only the Gaya Lok Sabha constituency and Sharad Yadav too may get only one seat. The delay in seat allocation in the Opposition camp has given the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) reason to cheer. JD (U) spokesperson K.C. Tyagi said the prolonged negotiations clearly indicated that the “mahagatbandhan” was not driven by principles. “The Congress’s big-brother attitude is creating problems for them and their allies everywhere. They have always had the habit of not accept ground realities. It was Nitish Kumar who gave the Congress 40 seats to contest when they were down to four in the Bihar Assembly. This mahagatbandhan is not based on principles so obviously they will find it tough to come together,” Mr. Tyagi said.last_img

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