Hectic parleys were today held among the grand secular alliance partners to hammer out competing claims and identify the seats the parties would fight in the October-November Bihar assembly polls and an announcement is expected by tomorrow.
Senior leaders of JD(U), RJD and Congress are holding meetings over seat sharing at the residence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Emerging from the meeting, RJDLP leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui told waiting reporters that talks are on in a “friendly and harmonious environment”.
“We are expected to reach a decision on seats each alliance partner would fight by tomorrow evening,” he said but refused to divulge any details when asked to comment on reports that RJD has been claiming many of JD(U) sitting seats and the competing claims of parties was delaying the process.
“There is no hiatus of any kind among us … Effort is on to arrive at a decision on all 243 seats. But if this does not happen we hope to announce seats of parties for the first two phases of elections by tomorrow evening.” he added.
Reports in a section of the media said RJD has identified Mahua and Raghopur seats in Vaishali district for Lalu Prasad’s two sons Tej Pratap and Tejaswi Yadav. Both have sitting JD(U) MLA.
Bihar JD(U) President Basistha Narayan Singh told reporters that not only JD(U) but other partner parties too “should be prepared to make sacrifices.”
“We have to make adjustments even on our sitting seats,” he said adding it was natural that problem would arise as each parties have got less number of seats than it had contested in the past.
JD(U) which had won 116 seats in 2010 has got only 100 seats in the alliance this time. Lalu Prasad’s RJD has also secured 100 seats while Congress has got 40. Three seats have now been offered to Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) after NCP and Samajwadi Party spurned the offer.
Congress leader Subodh Kant Sahay and Bihar PCC president Ashok Choudhary exuded confidence that the alliance partners would arrive at a decision on seats.
While Sahay met Lalu Prasad during the day, the RJD chief and Kumar are meeting on a daily basis. JD(U) president Sharad Yadav and Congress leaders are also in regular touch with the alliance partners to arrive at a decision of seat sharing, sources in the parties said.