In an effort to break the impasse over seat sharing between the RJD and the JD(U) for the Bihar elections scheduled in September-October, Congress president Sonia Gandhi will meet RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Monday.
The meeting assumes significance as both Prasad and chief minister Nitish Kumar have sought Gandhi’s intervention to firm up a “secular combine” to prevent the BJP from coming to power in the state.
The Bihar political drama has shifted to New Delhi with Kumar arriving in the national capital on Saturday. He is likely to meet the Congress president separately.
“The alliance will certainly happen. Fast developments will happen after Prasad’s arrival in the national capital on Sunday,” RJD sources said.
The efforts at firming up an alliance of parties, including the RJD, JD (U) and Congress, have remained stalled in past weeks on account of the RJD’s insistence on a lion’s share of 145 of the total of 243 seats as against the JD(U) formula that both parties contest 100 seats each, leaving the remaining seats for other alliance partners, including the Congress.
Sections within the RJD are also unwilling to accept the JD(U)’s precondition that Kumar be projected as the alliance’s chief ministerial candidate.
JD(U) president Sharad Yadav recently said the alliance between the RJD and JD(U) was “certain” and the secular platform would include other like-minded parties, including the Congress and NCP.
In a related development, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has dashed to Patna for discussions with party rank and file on the proposed secular alliance.
With SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav scheduled to arrive in the national capital on Sunday, a meeting of leaders of the Janata Parivar is also being expected.
Till the time of writing, Kumar remained incommunicado to the media.