The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Janata Dal-United (JD-U) on Sunday announced that they will fight the upcoming Bihar Assembly polls in alliance. However, no consensus could be made on the issue of leadership.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar met at Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Delhi residence to work out a strategy to challenge the BJP in the upcoming polls. Following the meeting, Samajwadi Party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav told reporters that a six-member committee, which will have three members each from RJD and JD-U, has been formed which will look after the issue of seat sharing.
The details of meeting are yet to be made public but sources said that Nitish Kumar has emerged as the most favoured to lead the alliance in the polls, scheduled to be held in September/October.
According to sources, most leaders are of the view that the alliance should project Nitish as its chief ministerial candidate. If Lalu Yadav accepts Nitish’s leadership then RJD is likely to get more number of seats. The Congress and Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are certain to join the alliance against the BJP.
Reports say that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also wants Nitish to lead the alliance. Earlier, before meeting Lalu and Mulayam, Nitish held a meeting with Rahul Gandhi at his residence. “Achhi mulaqat thi (It was a good meeting),” Nitish Kumar told reporters while refusing to divulge details of the meeting.
It is not yet clear as to what transpired in the meeting between the two leaders. Sources said the Congress is ready to contest the polls together with the JD-U but will demand a respectable number of seats.
On April 15, six political parties, including JD-U, RJD and the Samajwadi Party, had announced a merger to revive the united Janata Party. Mulayam Singh Yadav was named the president of the merged entity.
Under one of the seat-sharing formula that is being discussed, both RJD and JD-U could contest 100 seats each while 43 could be left for Congress, CPI-M, CPI and the NCP. Bihar Assembly has 243 seats.
On the other hand, former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has told the BJP leadership that his party, Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), will contest on 60 seats. Manjhi has also set a deadline till June 15 for BJP to make its stand clear on the seat sharing issue.
Courtesy: India Today