NEW DELHI: On paper, seat-sharing among ‘grand alliance’ partners JD(U), RJD and Congress, has not gone too badly, with the parties settling on a 101-101-41 seat share. But in reality, the Congress is contesting only 30.
Sources in the party’s Bihar unit admit that for 10 seats, it would actually put up JD(U) and RJD candidates on the hand symbol. Why this subterfuge? Apparently, the party leadership did not want to be seen settling for anything less than 40. In the MLC elections as well, the Congress had put up ‘borrowed candidates’ much to the chagrin of its local unit. Sources say the party would have done better had it contested on its own with a leader like former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar as its face. “The leadership talks about revival, but plays only for survival!” a veteran Congress hand quipped.
“Winning elections and retaining the alliance is far more important,” said Ashok Choudhary, Bihar PCC chief, adding that a bit of adjustment has taken place between JD(U) and RJD as well. JD-U, which had defeated Rabri Devi in Raghopur, returned the seat to Lalu Prasad. His son Tejawashi Yadav will contest there, while sitting JD(U) MLA Satish Kumar has been plucked by the BJP. JD-U had to give up 25 seats to the RJD and the latter only three to the former. But, Nitish Kumar is seen as the real winner as far as seat adjustments go. Lalu is playing along.
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