Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad to contest Bihar polls together

PTI
Published Jun 7, 2015, 11:48 pm IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 11:07 pm IST
A 6-member committee to be formed for seat-sharing talks
Nitish-Lalu alliance (Photo: PTI)
 Nitish-Lalu alliance (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi:  Bihar's ruling JD(U) and Lalu Prasad's RJD will contest the state assembly elections in alliance. JD(U) and RJD will constitute a 6-member committee for seat-sharing talks. 

"Today, it has been decided that RJD and JD(U) will  contest the Bihar polls in alliance," Samajwadi Party general  secretary Ram Gopal Yadav said after a two-hour meeting  between Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad. 

 

Emerging from the meeting held in the presence of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Ram Gopal said a six-member panel will  discuss seat-sharing but refused to name its members. 

"These cannot be revealed. The two parties will appoint three members each to the panel which will undertake the important task of devising a seat-sharing formula," he said.  Asked about the contentious issue of chief ministership, the SP general secretary said,"There is no dispute. These things will be taken care of later." 

Devising an amicable seat-sharing arrangement is likely to be a tough task for the two parties.

Of the 243 assembly seats in Bihar, JD(U) had contested  141 in alliance with BJP and won 117 in 2010 elections. Lalu's RJD on the other hand had contested 168 seats in alliance with  Ram Vilas Paswans LJP and won only 24 seats. 

While the JD(U) began by saying that the 2010 formula  should be repeated, RJD talked of 2014 Lok Sabha results to be  considered as the basis for seat-sharing. 

In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, JD(U) had won only two seats,  while RJD won four and Congress two. RJD had then led in 43 assembly segments and finished second in 92 assembly segments. 

RJD Vice President Raghuvansh Prasad Singh last month demanded that the party be allotted at least 145 seats of the total of 243 seats on this basis. 

Beyond these public assertions, one compromise formula being discussed was that both JD(U) and RJD contest 100 seats  each leaving the rest for allies. 

Even as RJD and JD(U) are engaged in a hard bargain over  seats for the assembly polls, senior Congress leader Ghulam  Nabi Azad said in Patna that all secular parties must unite to  defeat 'communal' BJP in Bihar elections. 

"I am confident that all secular parties will rally together to not only defeat the BJP-led NDA in the Assembly poll in Bihar, but also end its 'politics of tension' (tanav ki rajniti)," he said. 

On Kumar's reported insistence on being declared the alliance’s chief ministerial candidate, he said the senior JD(U) leader is the Chief Minister and "the face of the  alliance" at the moment and is being supported by all secular  parties. 

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