The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-led alliance on Friday finalised its seat-sharing agreement for the upcoming election to the 243-member Bihar Assembly. Leaders of the alliance partners are likely to announce the formula soon.
Lalu Yadav’s RJD will field candidates on 143 seats out of the 243 while the Congress is likely to contest on 68 to 70 seats, the Left parties on 28 to 30 seats, Mukesh Sahani’s Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) on 11 seats. The Congress had contested 41 seats in the 2015 Assembly election, winning 27. Congress leaders said 68 is the final number though it is pushing for one more seat.
This development comes a day after nominations began to be filed for the first phase of elections on October 28 for 71 constituencies. Earlier, the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) had announced they would contest as part of the RJD-Congress alliance the CPI (ML) was unhappy with the seats it got. However, on Friday, the CPI (ML) agreed to contest on 17-19 seats.
The 29 seats of the left parties will be distributed among the three parties. The Communist Party of India (CPI) is set to get six seats, while the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is likely to fight on four. The Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) has three MLAs in the House.
Meanwhile, Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) called for a meeting of its parliamentary board on Saturday in Delhi to decide their next course of action. The BJP is working behind the scenes to get the LJP on board after it declared yesterday that it would not contest with the NDA over differences with the JD(U). Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) of former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi have already exited the RJD-led alliance.