Mahagatbandhan seat share in Bihar deferred to Feb

After a setback in Uttar Pradesh, there is no good news for Congress in Bihar too. The party, riding piggyback on Lalu Prasad's outfit, has not been able to finalise either the number of seats or the candidates for the ensuing Lok Sabha polls. Nor has the

After a setback in Uttar Pradesh, there is no good news for Congress in Bihar too. The party, riding piggyback on Lalu Prasad's outfit, has not been able to finalise either the number of seats or the candidates for the ensuing Lok Sabha polls. Nor has the RJD or the Left combine, forget other smaller allies in the Mahagatbandhan.

As a consequence, the announcement of seat-sharing arrangement among the Grand Alliance (Mahagatbandhan) partners has been deferred till the first week of February. “We are in the process of finalising seat-pact. However, it will be announced after Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Patna on February 3 where he will address a mammoth rally at Gandhi Maidan in the State Capital,” a senior leader of the Grand Alliance told Deccan Herald on Sunday.

Read also: Jail or bail, Lalu in a win-win situation

Last month, when the NDA finalised its seat-sharing arrangement with the BJP and JD (U) deciding to contest 17 seats each, leaving remaining six seats for the LJP, the Mahagatbandhan leaders had argued that their seat pact would be announced soon after Makar Sankranti.

Problem of plenty

But as more and more allies kept joining Mahagatbandhan, the Grand Alliance was dogged by the problem of plenty. Each new ally wanted to extract its pound of flesh and, therefore, made unreasonable demands (read: number of seats to be contested) after meeting an ailing Lalu Prasad in Ranchi hospital.

Read also: NDA seat pact: JD (U) strongman Nitish emerges stronger

An astute politician that Lalu is, the incarcerated leader still managed to stitch a formidable alliance for Bihar while recuperating in Jharkhand. However, he has kept everyone guessing by keeping all cards close to his chest.

Read also: Bihar: Mahabharat in Mahagatbandhan over seats

While Sharad Yadav faction wants to contest three seats, Upendra Kushwaha has reportedly told Lalu to give his party at least five seats. The Left combine, comprising CPI, CPM and the CPI-ML, wants five seats in its strongholds. Former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustan Awam Morcha too has staked claims on three seats. The Congress, which contested 12 seats out of 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar in 2014 polls, wants to contest at least 10 seats. And the biggest constituent of all, the RJD wants the largest pie of the share. It wants to contest a minimum of 20 seats in Bihar.

“We know RJD has a mass base. But this is Lok Sabha election. One cannot and should not bully Congress as this is the only national party which could take BJP head-on throughout the country,” averred a senior Congress leader.

Read also: Despite behind bars, Lalu neither down nor out

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Mahagatbandhan seat share in Bihar deferred to Feb

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