Ahead of by-polls, Nitish forms anti-BJP front

Ahead of by-polls, Nitish forms anti-BJP front

Ahead of by-polls, Nitish forms anti-BJP front

With less than three weeks to go for by-elections to the 10 Assembly seats in Bihar, the Janata Dal (United) strongman Nitish Kumar has stitched an anti-BJP alliance which will have the Congress, RJD and the Left as the partners.

As per the broad understanding among the parties, the JD(U) and the RJD will contest four seats each, while leaving the rest two constituencies for the Congress. A formal announcement to this effect is likely to be made on July 30 after Nitish returns to Patna.

The former chief minister is currently in Mumbai on a personal trip. Before he left, Nitish had a telephonic conversation with Lalu and Congress leaders following which a consensus emerged on 4:4:2 ratio for the three parties — the JD (U), the RJD and the Congress, respectively — for the ensuing polls for 10 seats.

“If the results in the by-elections are encouraging, the same alliance will continue for the 2015 Assembly elections in which the Left parties will also be accommodated,” said Bihar JD(U) president Bashishtha Narain Singh here on Sunday.

The Election Commission has already issued notification for the by-polls in Narkatiaganj, Chapra, Hajipur, Jale, Mohania, Rajnagar, Mohiuddinagar, Banka, Parbatta and Bhagalpur, where polling will take place on August 21 and counting on August 25.

As per the agreement, the Congress will contest Bhagalpur and Narkatiaganj constituencies (since the its nominees were runners-up in these two seats in 2010 Assembly elections). The JD(U) will contest in Parbatta, Jale, Mohania and Hajipur, while the RJD will field its candidates in Banka, Raj Nagar, Mohiuddinagar and Chapra.

Meanwhile, the smaller groups within the NDA — the Ram Vilas Paswan-headed Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and the Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) — have pledged support to the BJP. “We will work together as NDA partners to ensure that all the 10 seats are won by the BJP-led alliance,” said LJP MP Chirag Paswan, son of Ram Vilas Paswan.