Three Left parties CPI, CPI(M) and CPI(ML) are likely to join the grand alliance led by Lalu's son Tejashwi Yadav ahead of BIhar assembly elections.
Jitan Ram Manjhi’s exit from the grand alliance of opposition parties in Bihar has left a vacancy for others willing to join the fight to dethrone Nitish Kumar. According to a report in The Indian Express, three Left parties — CPI, CPI(M) and CPI(ML), are most likely to join the grand alliance led by Lalu’s son Tejashwi Yadav ahead of the assembly elections.
The report said that CPI and CPI(M) leaders on Wednesday met RJD state president Jagdanand Singh. CPI(ML) leaders had earlier spoken with RJD leaders over the possibility of contesting elections in an agreement.
Tejashwi Yadav, who is seen as Lalu’s political heir and is also the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, has authorised Jagdanand Singh to hold alliance-related talks with other parties.
“Leaders of CPI and CPI(M) met our state president Jagdanand Singh and held discussions for close to two hours. We have agreed in principle about the need to contest the elections together. Discussions on seat-sharing can take place later… We have always stressed on a broader Grand Alliance,” RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tewari told The Indian Express.
If alliance talks get materialised, it will be the first time for CPI(ML) to sign an electoral pact with the RJD. Both the CPI and CPI(M) have in the past contested elections either with the RJD or the Janta Dal.
Notably, the CPI(ML) is the only Left party that has representation in the Assembly. The three seats that are being represented by the CPI(ML) are Darauli in Siwan, Tarari in Bhojpur and Balrampur in Katihar.
The IE report said that the CPI is keen on fighting the polls in Begusarai, Khagaria, Madhubani, Banka and Siwan. The CPI(M) is also keen on making inroads inthe Bhar and has expressed interest in contesting some seats in north Bihar. Senior CPI(M) leader Ramdev Verma had represented Bibhutipur in Samastipur district for long.
“We are ready for an alliance with the RJD – it is about seat-sharing now. We already have three seats and have a good hold on over a dozen seats in Bhojpur, Patna, Arwal and Siwan (districts). It looks like a good sign that all three Left parties are trying to be part of the Grand Alliance in Bihar,” CPI(ML) office secretary Kumar Parvez said.
“We need to contest together to stop fragmentation of votes,” CPI state secretary Ramnaresh Pandey said.
Notably, the CPI had ahead of the Lok Sabha elections last year made unsuccessful attempts to sign an electoral pact with the RJD. The party wanted at least the Begusarai seat from where former JNU Students’ Union president and sedition accused Kanhaiya Kumar contested. Kanhaiya, however, finished third behind BJP and RJD candidates.