The Congress and RJD on Wednesday finalised a deal to contest the Lok Sabha polls in Bihar’s 27 and 12 seats respectively and to allot the remaining one seat to the NCP.
Announcing the decision to mediapersons, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad said: “The Congress will put up candidates in Sasaram, Kishanganj, Hajipur, Samastipur, Gopalganj, Nalanda, Patna Sahib, Supaul, Purnia, Valmiki Nagar, Aurangabad and Muzafarpur. The Katihar seat has been given to the NCP.”
Senior NCP leader and Minister of State Tariq Anwar is likely to be fielded from this seat.
“The alliance was sealed to check communal forces in the upcoming elections,” said state Congress president Ashok Chaudhary.
Lalu said the final list of the RJD candidates would be declared in the next two days. The RJD chief, who had initially offered 11 seats to the Congress, finally gave in to the party’ demand for one more seat.
Congress sources said senior party leader Shakil Ahmed might not contest from the Madhubani constituency so that RJD legislative party leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui could be fielded from there.
In the 2004 general elections, the Congress-RJD-LJP alliance won 29 out of the 40 seats. But when the Congress and RJD parted ways in 2009, the latter could manage to get only four seats and the Congress had to be content with two seats. And the LJP failed to win even a single seat.
Lalu aggressively pitched for a new “secular” alliance with the Congress and LJP, citing the results of 2004 and 2009. Though his move suffered a debacle when the Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP recently returned to the NDA.
The Congress was initially reluctant to join hands with Lalu after his conviction in the fodder scam, as a result of which he lost his Parliament seat and was debarred from contesting elections.