Amid an independent pre-poll exercise launched by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar in the backdrop of RJD chief Lalu Prasad's wavering stance on seat sharing, JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav affirmed on Thursday that both parties would contest the state assembly polls together in alliance with the Congress.
"The merger may have been delayed but the seat-sharing accord is bound to take place. The country needs it to challenge the BJP. All anti-BJP forces, including the Congress, JD(U), RJD, NCP and others, will contest the Bihar polls together," Yadav said.
Scotching reports of the proposed Janata Parivar alliance being strained over the issue of leadership, Yadav said its unity had already been announced in New Delhi in April.
Sources say senior leaders of both parties are trying to involve Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to end the stalemate between the two parties over the alliance leadership issue.
Senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh appealed to Sonia Gandhi to intervene and help find a solution.
Sharad Yadav refused to specify a date by which the RJD-JD(U) deal would be sealed. "I cannot suggest a date but an agreement will be reached," he said.
The remarks came a day after a meeting between RJD leader Bhola Yadav, a confidant of Lalu Prasad, and Nitish Kumar failed to resolve differences. Bhola refused to divulge details of the meeting.
Nitish Kumar has begun preparations to contest the elections independently. He is holding feedback sessions for district party functionaries.
"He has left it to the party president and Congress leaders to clinch the alliance, if possible. But there will be no compromise on leadership and we will contest separately if the alliance does not materialise," a senior JD(U) functionary said.