Ahead of the crucial meeting of the Mahagathbandhan to finalize the seat sharing agreement for Lok Sabha elections in Bihar, Congress has upped the ante on RJD, the key partner of the alliance, maintaining that it was open to the option of going alone in the state if the party failed to reach a respectable seat-sharing agreement.
Senior party leader Sadanand Singh on Tuesday said the party was willing to contest Lok Sabha elections under the umbrella of Mahagathbandhan only if it gets a respectable number of seats to fight.
“The state unit has already conveyed it to the party top leadership that we must get a respectable number of seats to fight elections. If RJD and Congress fail to reach a respectable consensus, then the top leadership is open to the option of going alone in the state just like Uttar Pradesh” said Sadanand Singh, senior Congress leader.
With less than one month to go before the first phase of voting takes place on April 11, let alone announcing candidates for the 40 Lok Sabha, the Mahagathbandhan comprising of RJD, Congress, Hindustani Awam Morcha, Rashtriya Lok Samta party, Vikas Sheel Insan party and other left parties have not even reached a seat-sharing agreement.
In a bid to finalize the seat sharing agreement of Bihar Mahagathbandhan, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday has convened a meeting of all the alliance partners. RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav, Hindustani Awam Morcha leader Jitan Ram Manjhi, Rashtriya Lok Samta party supremo Upendra Kushwaha and Vikas Sheel Insan party chief Mukesh Sahani have already reached the national capital for the final round of discussions before a formal announcement is made.
The Congress is adamant on fighting at least 12 Lok Sabha seats, similar to the number it contested in 2014 in alliance with RJD. According to sources, the alliance partners of Mahagathbandhan have reached a broader consensus formula under which RJD will fight on 18 seats, Congress on 12, Rashtriya Lok Samta party on 3, Vikas Sheel Insan party on 1, Sharad Yadav’s party on 1 and remaining 5 to be distributed between Hindustani Awam Morcha and Left parties.