To end Bihar logjam, Cong moots ‘NDA formula’

Congress President Rahul Gandhi visits RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav at AIIMS in New Delhi in April last year. (RJD/Twitter)

Unable to resolve the vexed issue of seat-sharing among the constituents of the Grand Alliance (GA) in Bihar’s 40 Lok Sabha constituencies, the Congress party has mooted NDA-type formula to break the logjam.

The grand old party has suggested that the Congress and the RJD should contest 17 seats each, while leaving the rest six seats for smaller players.

“Out of its quota of 17 seats, the Congress would accommodate three marginal players – Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP, Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM and Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD),” a source in the party, aware of back-channel talks, told Deccan Herald.

Of the remaining six seats, one seat would be left for the CPI, two each for CPI-ML and Mukesh Sahni’s Vikasheel Insaan Party (VIP) and one for the Samajwadi Party.

Earlier, the NDA in Bihar too had entered a seat-pact wherein the JD (U) and the BJP agreed to contest 17 seats each, while leaving the rest six seats for LJP.

LALU’S ULTIMATUM   

The move in Mahagatbandhan comes shortly after RJD president Lalu Prasad, recuperating in Ranchi hospital, issued an ultimatum to the Congress to resolve the seat-sharing agreement in the next three days.

“We are not at the mercy of anyone. The Congress party is a pan-India organisation, and, if required, could go it alone without succumbing to pressure tactics of regional parties. We have done this in UP. This experiment (of going it alone) could be followed in other States too,” said former president of the Bihar Congress and leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in the Vidhan Sabha, Sadanand Singh.

The issue of seat pact has not been resolved in Mahagatbandhan as Lalu, who is final arbitrator in this matter, is of the opinion that Congress is unnecessarily flexing its muscle and trying to extract its pound of flesh in a State where it has marginal presence.

BORROWED PLAYERS

 Lalu is reportedly unhappy with the Congress over ‘borrowed’ players. “Lalu ji is miffed with the Congress after the latter borrowed players from other parties to field as its nominees. Take for example, Kirti Azad (Darbhanga), Lovely Anand (Sheohar), Uday Singh (Purnia), Anant Singh (Munger), Pappu Yadav (Madhepura) and possibly Shatrughan Sinha (Patna Sahib). Lalu Ji feels that Congress should settle for ten seats and leave another ten seats for alliance partners. The RJD would contest the remaining 20 seats,” said a former MP, who is one of the closest aides of Lalu.

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To end Bihar logjam, Cong moots ‘NDA formula’

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