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Bihar’s Mahagathbandhan meets today: Seat sharing, strategy for Lok Sabha polls on agenda

7 January, 2019 8:04 AM
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Bihar’s Mahagathbandhan meets today: Seat sharing, strategy for Lok Sabha polls on agenda

BJP-led NDA finalising its seat-sharing formula has put pressure on the Mahagathbandhan to reach an agreement soon

Opposition parties in Bihar are set to meet on January 7 to begin formal seat-sharing negotiations for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The lunch meeting is expected to be attended by all constituents of the alliance, including Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)’s Tejashwi Yadav, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party’s Upendra Kushwaha, Congress leader Madan Mohan Jha and former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi. Newly formed Loktantrik Janata Dal’s leader Sharad Yadav is also expected to attend the meeting.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) finalising its seat-sharing formula has put pressure on the ‘Mahagathbandhan' (grand alliance) to reach an agreement soon.

According to reports, the NDA allies have reached an agreement with the BJP and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) contesting 17 seats each. Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) is expected to contest six seats. There are a total of 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Reports suggest that the RJD is expected to demand a lion’s share of 20 seats.

The talks come days after reports emerged about Manjhi, Sharad Yadav and the Vikasshil Insan Party (VIP) seeking more seats.

Some reports had also suggested that Manjhi was toying with the idea of a possible return to the NDA as he was not getting his due in the Mahagathbandhan.

However, Manjhi said: "This is nonsense. Only on Saturday, I was in Ranchi to meet Lalu Prasad. It is another thing that because of his poor health, I avoided getting into any detailed discussions on political matters."

"We are not at all insistent on a particular number of seats in Lok Sabha polls, and though we maintain that we are in a good position in at least 20 out of 40 seats in the state, we will work for the Mahagathbandhan's victory even if we end up fighting not a single seat," Manjhi added.

The final agreement may however be deferred till the release of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is serving sentences in multiple fodder scam cases. Judgement on his bail plea has been reserved by the Jharkhand High Court.

Reports add that the seat-sharing formula will only be announced after January 14 when the ‘inauspicious’ month of 'Kharmaas' ends.

Source: moneycontrol.com

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