Patna: As promised, the Grand Alliance in Bihar led by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), a day after Holi, announced its formula for seat sharing for the Lok Sabha elections that involves a host of small and large parties including the RJD, Congress, Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP), and CPI-ML.
At a joint press conference in Patna, RJD state president Ram Chandra Purvey, in the presence of other Mahagathbandhan leaders, announced nine seats for Congress (against its demand for at least 12 seats) along with one seat for it for Rajya Sabha; five for Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP, three seats each to Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM and Mukesh Sahni’ VIP.
While RJD has kept the remaining of the 20 seats for itself, it will, in actuality, contest on only 17 seats giving up two seats for Sharad Yadav’s fledgling Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) that will be merged with RJD in the coming days; and one seat for a CPI-ML candidate who would also contest on an RJD ticket.
Besides Purvey, other people present at the Friday press conference included RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha, Congress state president Madan Mohan Jha, and HAM and RLSP representatives.
For the two by-elections in Bihar, RJD will be fielding its candidate Mohammed Firoz Hussain from Dehri and HAM candidate Dhirendra Kumar Singh from Nawada.
Unhappy with the seat-sharing formula, a handful of Congress leaders at Sadaqat Ashram in Patna raised anti-RJD slogans for marginalizing ‘a senior partner like Congress’ while placating new entrants in the Grand Alliance like HAM and RLSP.
Meanwhile, in a clear slap to Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) leader and sitting MP from Madhepura Pappu Yadav, the RJD made it amply clear that it does not want to do anything with the former party leader who was very critical of both Tejaswi and Tej Pratap Yadav while still being in the RJD. His criticism to the two natural heirs of Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi led to his expulsion from the party forcing him to form his own outfit now known as JAP.
Earlier this week, Pappu Yadav lamented his exclusion from the Grand Alliance saying he was at a loss as to what crime he had committed that made the RJD to ignore him.
“I share the same goal as other Mahagathbandhan leaders to rid the nation from the misrule of Narendra Modi so it is very hard for me to understand why I am being treated as a pariah,” he had said.