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Lok Sabha elections 2019: Left waits for grand alliance meet today to get it right

The GA, consisting of RJD, Congress, Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular and Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD), is expected to finalise a seat sharing deal.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 17, 2019 03:11 IST
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Patna: Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel and grand alliance leaders during 'Jan Akanksha Rally', at Gandhi Maidan in Patna, Sunday, Feb. 03, 2019. (PTI Photo)(PTI2_3_2019_000131B)(PTI)

The left parties in Bihar, which were hoping to contest on at least four of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar as part of a an anticipated deal with opposition’s Grand Alliance(GA), have called a meeting on Sunday to decide their future course of action.

The GA, consisting of RJD, Congress, Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular and Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD), is expected to finalise a seat sharing deal.

However, according to sources, the left front, comprising the CPI, CPI (M) and the CPI (ML) Liberation, is preparing to contest on over a dozen seats during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections if a deal with the GA is not reached. The Left’s hope of getting a reasonable share of seats under the GA stems from the talks between CPI’s national council secretary D Raja and RJD chief Lalu Prasad in January. “The RJD chief had assured us to spare a reasonable share of seats under the GA for the left parties. Now, we are looking at the final rounds of talks on Sunday to decide our next course of action,” said CPI state council secretary Satyanarayan Singh.

Left parties have pockets of influence in Bihar in places like Ara, Siwan, Begusarai, Madhubani, Khagaria, Motihari, Gaya, Jamui, Ujiyarpur, etc.

Shaktisinh Gohil, All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge for Bihar, who is coordinating the seat sharing talks with GA partners, said RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav had been asked to hold parley with the left parties. “Hopefully, everything will be worked out in the final talks over seats on Sunday,” said Gohil.

The CPI has sought Begusarai seat to field former JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar while CPI(ML) is eyeing Ara and Siwan. CPI(M) is yet to identify the seats it may contest in the LS polls.

Meanwhile, the CPI(ML) has decided to release its Bihar-specific manifesto for LS polls after its meeting on March 23.

First Published: Mar 17, 2019 03:11 IST