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Rashtriya Janata Dal may contest 20-22 seats, Congress 11

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The Economic Times
13th March, 2019 07:47 IST

PATNA: Bihar’s opposition alliance which includes the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), Vikashsheel Insan Party (VIP), Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) and Left parties in Bihar, is likely to announce the seat-sharing formula for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections this week.

Sources said the RJD, which former chief minister Lalu Prasad heads, may get around 20-22 seats under the seat-sharing formula. The Congress is likely to contest 11 seats under the formulae. RLSP may be allocated three seats while HAM and VIP may be allocated two each. The Left parties, which include CPI and CPI (ML), may be given two seats. Chances of a friendly contest in a few seats between the alliance candidate and the Left may not be ruled out. As things stand today, RLD is reportedly persuading Loktantrik Janata Dal chief and former Union minister Sharad Yadav to contest the election on its own symbol.

Moreover, if the RJD wishes, it may accommodate Samajwadi Party by giving one seat to it from its own quota, a source in the GA said.

Sources in the alliance added that Lalu Prasad is eager to oblige the local political outfit VIP, whose head is one Mukesh Shahni, in view of its (VIP’s) support among the Nishad voters. VIP is also eyeing the Darbhanga seat.

“Muzaffarpur or Khagaria may also be given to VIP,” the source added. According to him, if the Darbhanga seat is allocated to VIP, it means Kirti Azad who recently joined Congress, may be fielded from any seat in Delhi. Azad had won the Darbhanga seat as BJP nominee in the 2014 LS elections. The Grand Alliance is likely to offer the Ara seat to the CPI (ML), which had reportedly demanded six seats initially. RLSP, headed by former union minister Upendra Kushwaha who quit NDA and subsequently joined the GA in Bihar, may contest from Karakat, East Champaran and Valmikin Nagar. Gaya and Nalanda seats are likely to be allocated to former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi-headed HAM.

RJD is likely to get Madhubani, Jhanjharpur, Vaisahli, Siwan, Maharajganj, Saran, Ujiarpur, Khagaria, Patliputra, Buxar, Jahanabad, Gaya and Jamui, apart from its four sitting seats –– Araria, Madhepura, Banka and Bhagalpur.

The seats which Congress may get are Kishanganj, Supaul, Katihar, Sasaram, Samastipur, Aurangabad, Muzaffarpur, Munger, Sheohar, Hajipur and Patna Sahib.

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