Congress, RJD on the verge of split?

Congress, RJD on the verge of split?

The relationship between the two allies has been worsening ever since they could not reach an amicable seat-sharing agreement during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress and the RJD, the two alliance partners in Bihar’s Mahagathbandhan, are on the verge of split.

The latest round of confrontation is on the number of seats the two parties should contest for the by-elections being held for one Lok Sabha seat and five Assembly constituencies on October 21.

The relationship between the two allies has been worsening ever since they could not reach an amicable seat-sharing agreement during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

It reached a point of no return after the RJD announced its candidates for four Assembly constituencies, reportedly without taking other allies into confidence, on Wednesday evening.

“The time to ride piggy-back on the RJD is up. The Congress should gear up to fight elections on its own, without the help of any crutches,” said former president of Bihar Congress, Anil Sharma, who attended the poll-related meet here at the party’s headquarters— Sadaquat Ashram.

The Bihar Congress has now prepared a list of three probable candidates for each of the five Assembly constituencies and sent it to the Central Election Committee (CEC) of the Congress headed by Sonia Gandhi for approval.

The Congress has already announced that it will contest the Samastipur Lok Sabha by-elections where its candidate Ashok Kumar was the runners-up during the May 2019 parliamentary polls.

The Lok Sabha bypoll has been necessitated due to untimely demise of LJP MP, Ram Chandra Paswan, who was also the younger brother of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

Meanwhile, sources in the RJD said that Lalu’s son Tejashwi Yadav has rushed to New Delhi to meet the Congress top leadership and iron out differences in the Mahagathbandhan.

“We are peeved at the way the RJD has unilaterally announced the candidates for the bypolls,” said Jitan Ram Manjhi, president of HAM, who is also an alliance partner. Incidentally, HAM has also thrown its hat in the bypoll ring and wants to contest at least one seat.

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