No deal in sight for RJD, Congress on seat sharing

No deal in sight for RJD, Congress  on seat sharing

Even as the deadline set by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad for seat-sharing talks with Congress expired on Sunday, the former Railway Minister said there was no point in wasting time by talking to the Congress anymore.

“The Congress should cut its coat as per its cloth. I am not going to promise moon to anyone. My offer to Congress is final. Either accept 11 seats (besides one for NCP), or else, feel free to chart your independent course,” Lalu reiterated his warning to the grand old party here on Sunday, while still making a last-ditch effort to sew up an alliance.

Congress sources accused Lalu of betraying them. “We have been demanding Madhubani (for Shakeel Ahmad), Bhagalpur (for ex-Speaker Sadanand Singh) and Motihari (for former Union minister Akhilesh Singh). But Lalu has offered us seats like Patna Saheb, Hajipur and Nalanda. Everyone knows it’s difficult to defeat Shatrughan Sinha, Ram Vilas Paswan and Nitish’s nominee at the three respective constituencies. He is offering us only ‘weakened’ constituencies,” said a senior Congress, calling Lalu’s bluff.

In fact, the Congress, which prolonged the tie-up talks for too long, now finds itself trapped. 

“When Lalu came out of Ranchi jail, he made an unconditional offer of seat sharing, so that we could not proceed ahead for talks with Nitish. Now he has changed colours. We are in a catch-22 situation. If the high command fails to stitch an alliance with either Lalu or Nitish, the BJP will have a cakewalk in Bihar, and all the three secular parties will be headed for a drubbing due to division of secular votes,” he lamented.

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