Congress for quick Bihar seat share
The Congress on Wednesday made it clear it was not in favour of last-minute distribution of seats for the Bihar elections due late this year and said it would ask all Grand Alliance members, especially Lalu Prasad’s RJD, to finalise the deal well ahead of the polls.
It also asserted there was no tussle over who would be the alliance’s chief ministerial candidate.
“We have learnt from our mistakes in the Lok Sabha elections last year and will not repeat them. We will not delay seat distribution for the Bihar Assembly polls till the last minute and ensure that it is done well in advance. The alliance does not percolate among the voters if seats are distributed late,” Shaktisinh Gohil, the Congress’s Bihar in-charge, said.
Apart from the Congress and the RJD, the alliance includes the Hindustani Awam Morcha Secular (HAMS), Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP) and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP).
Gohil, who was speaking at the Bihar Congress headquarters at Sadaquat Ashram in Patna, said there were no serious differences within the alliance over who would be its candidate for chief minister. But he stopped short of naming RJD leader and Lalu Prasad’s son, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav.
“One thing is clear that all Grand Alliance members are united. The RJD has been a loyal ally for a long time. We all will contest the elections together. There is nothing like bigger or smaller party between us. We are waging a fight based on our ideology and there is no fight over the face of the alliance. We will decide over it before the polls,” Gohil said.
The AICC Bihar in-charge said that Tejashwi; HAMS leader and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi; Congress leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Congress legislature party leader Sadanand Singh, former governor and Congress leader Nikhil Kumar and many others were all fit to be the alliance’s chief ministerial candidate.
Gohil said issues related to the Assembly elections would be finalised after April and denied any pressure from the RJD on seats or the chief ministerial face, although it was the largest party in the 243-member House.
The RJD has 80 MLAs in the Assembly and the Congress 26.
“As far as our party is concerned, we are preparing to contest in all the 243 seats. Our preparation in all the seats will help the ally who gets a particular seat to contest,” Gohil said.