Mahagathbandhan likely to announce seats in Bihar today

Mahagathbandhan likely to announce seats in Bihar today

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Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra with Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejaswi Yadav during a rally after the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.
| Photo Credit: PTI

A day after the last date of filing nomination papers for the first phase poll on April 19, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress-led mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) in Bihar are likely all set to announce seat sharing on March 29.

The announcement could be made at State RJD headquarters jointly by RJD, Congress and three Left parties which form mahagathbandhan in the State.

If sources in the grand alliance are to be believed, the RJD is likely to contest on 26 seats, Congress on nine and the Left parties on remaining five seats. Bihar has total 40 Lok Sabha constituencies.

In last 2019 Lok Sabha elections too, Congress had contested on nine seats winning the lone Kishanganj seat. The NDA had won remaining 39 seats.

Among the Left parties, the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) may contest on three seats of Bhojpur, Nalanda and Karakat, while the Communist Party of India (CPI) to contest the Begusarai seat, for which it already has announced the name of the candidate as Awadhesh Rai and Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) would contest the Khagaria seat.

The RJD is likely to contest (26) seats: Purnia, Aurangabad, Gaya, Jamui, Nawada, Saran, Patliputra, Buxar, Ujjiyarpur, Jehanabad, Darbhanga, Banka, Araria, Munger, Sitamarhi, Jhanjharpur, Madhubani, Siwan, Seohar, Vaishali, Hajipur, Supaul, Valmikinagar, East Champaran, Madhepura, Gopalganj or, Maharajganj.

The Congress (nine) may contest seats of: Kishanganj, Katihar, Samastipur, Patna Sahib, Sasaram, West Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Supaul, Maharajganj or Gopalganj.

The mahagathbandhan leaders are also in touch with Mukesh Sahni-led Vikashil Insaan Party (VIP) over two seats Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga.

“If VIP is to be given two seats, both the Congress and RJD would spare one seat each from their respective quota”, said a senior RJD leader. In that case, RJD would contest on 25 seats while, Congress on eight seats, he added.

Meanwhile, heavyweight Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav who wants to contest the Purnia seat “at any cost” and had recently merged his party Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) into Congress party, appears sulking. Under the grand alliance, the Congress party has been denied the Purnia seat with RJD already announcing the name of Bima Bharti as the party candidate from Purnia. However, Pappu Yadav whose wife Ranjit Ranjan is a Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Chhattisgarh, is likely to be fielded from the Supaul seat which she had represented in Lok Sabha once.

“Whatever, be the decision of the parties I’m a son of Purnia and will contest from the Purnia seat. Will prefer to leave the world but not the Purnia seat”, Mr. Yadav said on March 28 while campaigning on bike in Purnia.

The Begusarai seat too is likely to have gone to the CPI quota from where it was speculated that Congress leader and former Jawaharlal Nehru University Student’s Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar would be the likely candidate. In the last 2029 LS poll, Mr. Kumar was defeated from the Begusarai seat by BJP candidate Giriraj Singh by over two lakh votes.

Meanwhile, All India Majlis-E-Ettehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has announced a contest on 16 seats in Bihar while giving support to Hina Sahab from Siwan. Ms Sahab is the wife of the late strongman of Siwan Mohd Shahabuddin who had been MP from Siwan four times.

RJD sources told The Hindu that under mahagathbandhan alliance RJD would also get one more seat in neighboring state of Jharkhand. RJD had already Chatra Lok Sabha seat in its kitty but now it is likely to get Palamu seat as well, he added.

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