LJP-RJD begin seat-sharing for Bihar assembly polls

LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan said the seat-sharing arrangement with RJD would be concretised by this month-end.

He, however, made it clear that the LJP-RJD combine will have no truck with Congress, with which they were in alliance in the UPA-I government.Paswan told PTI in an interview that LJP and RJD have formed teams under their state unit presidents to hold discussions for seat-sharing for election to the 243-member Assembly.

"We fared badly in the Lok Sabha elections because of a mistake. Laluji and myself kept attacking each other and finalised the alliance only at the last moment. Due to this, the message of our unity could not reach the voters in time," he said.

In Lok Sabha elections last year, LJP could not open its account while RJD got barely four seats. In the previous Lok Sabha elections, LJP had four seats while RJD had 22. Bihar has got 40 Lok Sabha seats.

"We realised this mistake and have been cementing our alliance for the last one-and-a-half years. Also we decided to firm seat-sharing arrangement well in time. Our alliance (LJP-RJD) is now rock solid and we will win the elections with two-third majority," he insisted.

On the proportion of seats to be contested by LJP and RJD, he said this will be decided on the basis of "winnability" of candidates.

The LJP-RJD combine, however, will not project anybody as its Chief Ministerial candidate.
"Let the alliance win first, then the issue will be decided," Paswan said.

LJP has 12 members in the present Bihar Assembly while RJD is the second largest party with 56 seats. The ruling parties JDU and BJP have 81 and 54 seats respectively and Congress 10.

In the last Assembly polls in 2005, LJP had contested separately while RJD and Congress were in alliance.RJD, which ruled Bihar for 15 consecutive years from 1990, was defeated in the elections by JD(U)-BJP combine.

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