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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Lok Sabha elections 2019: Will seal Bihar seat deal this week, says Rahul Gandhi

The Congress is facing criticism for going slow in firming up alliances as compared to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has so far brought about three dozen parties into the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) it leads.

patna Updated:
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said his party will wrap up alliances with regional parties in Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir by the end of this week.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said his party will wrap up alliances with regional parties in Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir by the end of this week.(PTI)
         

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said his party will wrap up alliances with regional parties in Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir by the end of this week.

The Congress is facing criticism for going slow in firming up alliances as compared to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has so far brought about three dozen parties into the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) it leads.

According to Congress leaders familiar with the developments, the seat-sharing agreement in Bihar is likely to be finalised in the next few days. While the Congress expects to contest on 11 of the total 40 seats, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) may get 20 and the remaining will go to smaller allies.

In 2009, the Congress had fought on 12 seats in alliance with the RJD. Among the smaller outfits, the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, led by former union minister Upendra Kushwaha, is slated to get three seats while Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular and Sharad Yadav-led Loktantrik Janata Dal are expected to be allocated two each.

“It will be reasonable if the Congress gets 11 seats. We hope all parties came together without any preconditions. If that is the case, there will be no issues in distribution of seats,” said Bihar Congress spokesman Harkhu Jha. RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav also indicated that the seat sharing issue would be soon resolved. “There isn’t any confusion between us. We are all clear,” he told reporters after the meeting of the alliance partners in Delhi.

In Jharkhand, four opposition parties, the Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) and the RJD, have already announced a pre-poll alliance for the Lok Sabha elections and also the assembly polls scheduled to be held in November-December.

As per the agreement, the JMM would lead the alliance but the Congress would get a lion’s share in the distribution of seats. The Congress is expected to fight on seven seats, the JMM four, JVM (P) two and the RJD one. The Congress has also given one seat to the JMM in neighbouring Odisha. “Talks are on course. The final seat sharing formula is expected to be announced around Holi,” said Jharkhand Congress spokesperson Kishore Nath Shahdeo.

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