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Bihar: Congress tries to strike a deal

Published Mar 4, 2014, 1:21 pm IST
Updated Mar 19, 2019, 10:51 am IST
Lalu Prasad Yadav (Photo - DC/file)
 Lalu Prasad Yadav (Photo - DC/file)

New Delhi: The AICC on Monday indicated that the seat-sharing issue with the RJD in Bihar would be resolved and a final announcement in this regard would be made any time in the next two days.

The Congress wants the RJD to leave more of its Lok Sabha seats but the latter is unwilling, so far. But it may finally give one more seat to the Congress, sources said, suggesting that Lalu Prasad Yadav cannot fight on three fronts — against the BJP-led NDA, the JD(U) and the Congress — simultaneously.

Congress sources also made it clear that the party is not approaching Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for a pre-poll alliance in the state as the ruling JD(U) could ally with the UPA after the general election.

The AICC central election committee would be meeting here on Tuesday. It is still unclear when the party will announce its first list of candidates. But if it succeeds in striking a deal with the RJD, then Bihar would be the second state, after Maharashtra, where the Congress will fight the elections under the banner of the UPA.

Meanwhile, Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi dismissed suggestions that the RJD chief had given the Congress any time limit to accept his offer of 11 seats. Bihar has a total of 40 seats.

“We are moving in the direction of what is proper and most effective for both Congress and RJD,” said Mr Singhvi, who slammed LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan for joining hands with the BJP after having opposed BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi in the past.

Taking a dig at the BJP over the tie-up with Mr Paswan, Mr Singhvi said that in the process of enlarging the NDA, the Opposition party could accentuate the divide within as several state leaders are opposed to the LJP’s entry.

Regarding the JD(U)’s demand for special category status for Bihar, he said this is not a new demand and it is not only from Bihar but also from some other states. He said the relevant ministry will decide the issue in accordance with established rules and procedures. “It is a technical matter which has to be decided by the finance ministry and the Planning Commission, the party has no comment on the issue,” he said.



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