After much dithering and dissensions, the Mahagatbandhan on Friday stitched its Grand Alliance with the RJD getting the lion’s share.
As per the seat-sharing pact announced in the State Capital, the RJD would contest 19 seats while the Congress nine seats out of 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar. Of the remaining 12 seats, Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) would contest five, Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM and Mukesh Sahni’s VIP three seats each. One seat has been left for the Left organisation CPI-ML.
Former JD (U) president Sharad Yadav would contest Lok Sabha polls on RJD symbol from Madhepura and would later merge his pocket organisation Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) with the RJD after Lok Sabha elections.
Incidentally, Sharad was defeated from Madhepura in 2014 by RJD’s Pappu Yadav, who has now been suspended from the party. Earlier, Sharad had been four-term Lok Sabha member from Madhepura, having defeated Lalu. However, Lalu avenged his defeat when he trounced Sharad in 2004 Lok Sabha polls.
Amid simmering discontent within the Congress, the second largest alliance partner in the Mahagatbandhan, the RJD leaders refrained from naming all the 40 candidates’ name here on Friday. “We are only declaring four candidates for Gaya, Aurangabad, Nawada and Jamui respectively for the first phase poll,” said Ram Chandra Purve, president of the Bihar RJD.
Former Chief Minister and president of HAM, Jitan Ram Manjhi, will file his nomination papers as Mahagatbandhan nominee from Gaya on Monday. Former Governor of Kerala, Nikhil Kumar, who was earlier Delhi Police Commissioner, before becoming Congress’ Lok Sabha member from Bihar’s Aurangabad Lok Sabha constituency in 2004, has been denied ticket (from Aurangabad).
“There are still some seats where there are differences between the constituents of GA. But we are hopeful that the issue would be resolved in the next 72 hours,” RJD spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Manoj Jha told Deccan Herald.