Eight seats Cong not ready to part with in Bihar

Congress president Rahul Gandhi meets RJD chief Lalu Prasad. (PTI file photo)

Three days ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s rally in Patna, the Grand Alliance in Bihar has hit a dead-end with no sign of resolving the seat-sharing pact among the key constituents.

The bone of contention is Congress’s reported adamant stand not to part with eight parliamentary seats out of 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar. “The Congress has, in fact, submitted a list of 15 possible seats to RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who is finalising candidates of different constituents in the Mahagatbandhan,” a senior leader in the grand old party told Deccan Herald.

During the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress had contested on 12 seats, while the RJD on 27 seats, thereby leaving one constituency (Katihar) for NCP’s Tariq Anwar. The Congress won two, RJD four and NCP one seat. Katihar MP Tariq Anwar recently joined his parent organisation – Congress and is likely to be fielded from the Muslim-dominated turf.

“We simply cannot part with at least eight constituencies – Supaul and Kishanganj, the two seats we won in 2014. Besides, in Katihar and Darbhanga (the BJP MP from Darbhanga Kirti Azad will join Cong during Rahul’s rally), we are having sitting members. Of the remaining four seats, Sasaram is reserved for former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, while Aurangabad will be allotted to former Delhi Police Commissioner Nikhil Kumar who has once represented the constituency,” the AICC source explained it to Deccan Herald.

In the remaining two seats, former CLP leader Ashok Ram will be fielded from Samastipur, while ex-Bihar Congress president Mehboob Ali Kaisar will be contesting from Khagaria. Kaisar is currently LJP MP from Khagaria, but is likely to cross over the fence for greener pastures.

“This is a Lok Sabha election where the Congress would like to shore up its strength by fielding as many winnable candidates as possible. If Congress has to make some sacrifices (in terms of seats) to accommodate other allies, then the RJD too should show some large-heartedness,” the senior party functionary averred, hoping the seat-sharing issue would be resolved soon.

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Eight seats Cong not ready to part with in Bihar

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