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Grand Alliance 'finalises' seat-sharing deal in Bihar

New Delhi: Amid the fear that Congress may forge a post-poll alliance with JD(U) in case there would a hung assembly, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has offered 68 seats to Congress as the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan finalised its seat-sharing formula for the upcoming Bihar assembly elections. The RJD is likely to contest above 135 seats in the 243-seat assembly.

As per party insiders, the Congress has agreed to contest on 68 seats out of the 243 assembly constituencies in Bihar assembly. At present, the Grand Old party has 23 MLAs in Bihar legislative assembly.

The other alliance partners of the Grand Alliance have also been respectful seats as CPI (M-L) has been offered 19 seats, while CPM has been told to field its candidates from 10 seats and Mukesh Sahani's Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) would be offered about five seats and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) may get two seats.

Given the poor performance of alliance partners in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, the RJD is treading cautiously in sharing seats with its allies as the single largest party in the Bihar with 73 MLAs is susceptible about the Congress that it may tie-up with Nitish Kumar after the elections if there would be a hung assembly.

It was the RJD's decision to bring Left Front parties in the Grand Alliance and allocated 19 seats to the CPI (ML). However, the Marxist-Leninists, who had insisted on at least 20 seats, has a support base among the subaltern castes in the Bhojpur belt.

The Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) and the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) have quit the grand alliance due to the RJD's stance on the seat-sharing so far.

According to the party sources, the seat-sharing decision would be officially announced in a day or two. Though the seat allotment has also been finalised, there would be some changes, if required, after the seat-sharing announcement of NDA.

"All the partners of the Grand Alliance would be given respectful seats and there is no confusion about it among our allies. We all are united in the fight against corruption, unemployment, poor law & order in Bihar," RJD's spokesperson Bhai Virendra Yadav said, adding that the Mahagathbandhan would win enough seats to form the government by ousting the JD(U)-BJP government led by chief minister Nitish Kumar.

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