July 12, 2024

The Bihar

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Bihar Congress stakes everything on RJD and LJP

2 min read

lalu-meet-rahul-gandhiThe Congress is keen to clinch a pre-poll alliance with the RJD and the LJP in Bihar to strengthen the secular forces ahead of the polls.

Though alliance talks are moving in a positive direction, Congress sources said the parties were yet to come up with a proper seat share plan.

On his part, RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who had ditched the Congress ahead of the 2009 elections by offering four seats to it, is wiser now. While the RJD tally dropped from 24 in 2004 to four in 2009, the LJP that had four seats in 2004 was wiped out in 2009.

Lalu knows that he will need to have the Congress on his side to woo upper castes (18 per cent) in Bihar and that his Yadav-Muslim vote bank along with the Dalit support base of LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan may not be sufficient to see them through.

The Congress, which contested in 38 of 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state, could win only two in 2009. The party’s share could come down from nine seats in 2005 to four seats in the 2010 Assembly polls.

The RJD-LJP alliance too crashed from 143 seats in 2005 to 25 in 2010 Assembly polls. The situation has not changed much, but the Congress is asking for 12 seats while the RJD chief is willing to give it only eight, sources said.

Another sticking point in the alliance talks is that Paswan wants to contest on 12 seats, but he may have to settle for eight, said sources.

However, opinion on how many Lok Sabha seats the Congress-RJD-LJP alliance can win remains divided.

While central Congress leaders believe the UPA tally could go beyond 20, political observers peg the number at 15 seats.

Courtesy: Daily Mail

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