The Congress and RJD are believed to be working out a '163 plus 80' formula for the upcoming Assembly polls in Bihar.
Even as they continue to press for their demand to defer polls in view of the coronavirus situation in Bihar, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress are learnt to be working overtime to get in place an acceptable seat-sharing formula as elections draw near in the eastern state. The RJD and Congress, both constituents of the grand alliance, seem to be inching closer to finalising a seat-sharing deal.
According to a report in The Indian Express, the two parties are believed to be working out a ‘163 plus 80′ formula for the upcoming Assembly polls. The grand alliance in Bihar also comprises Hindustani Awam Party of Jitan Ram Manjhi, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party of Upendra Kushwaha and Vikasshil Insaan Party of Mukesh Sahani.
The report said that the two parties have agreed that the RJD will try to accommodate VIP and potential allies CPI-ML and BSP from its quota of 163 seats.
The Congress, on the other hand, will adjust the RLSP and HAM and potential ally CPI within share of seats.
The Legislative Assembly has 243 Assembly seats. In the current assembly, the RJD is the single largest party with 81 and the Congress has 27 members.
Quoting a Congress leader, the IE report said that the party should have bargained for 10 more seats given that there were many allies to accommodate. He added that the senior party leaders are in talks with the RJD counterparts to finalise the seats.
“As there are too many allies, it is the job of two leading parties to accommodate juniors. Now the first task is to see which 80 seats the Congress gets to contest. Three senior leaders have been in talks with RJD,” the leader told the daily.
Notably, Congress’ Bihar in-charge Shakti Sinh Gohil had recently been in Patna.
An RJD leader said that the two major constituents of the alliance have reached an understanding on seats and that there could be several rounds of talks between the two and other allies. He said that alliance is looking to rope in Left parties to broadbase our alliance.
“It is now a matter of the number of seats all constituents settle with,” the party source said.
Although the Congress and RJD have agreed to the ‘163 plus 80’ formula, they have a tough job on hand to keep smaller parties in the alliance fold as they have been flexing their muscles for the past few months over larger representation in the partnership.
Bihar is slated to go to polls in October-November later this year. While Nitish Kumar will seek a fourth consecutive win, it will be a do or die battle for the RJD which is facing a leadership crisis ever since Lalu Prasad Yadav was sent to jail for his role in the multi-crore fodder scam.