From NEWS360 Correspondent
Patna: Crisis over seat-sharing arrangement deepens in the opposition Grand Alliance in Bihar after several senior Congress leaders hinted at “exploring other options” if the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) offered less than 70 seats to the party in the upcoming assembly elections.
After a meeting at a meeting in Patna, All India Congress Committee (AICC) leader and state-in-charge Shaktisinh Gohil said that he wanted all like-minded parties should come together but would be compelled to look for “another option” if his party did not get “respectable” share. AICC general secretary Tariq Anwar and former speaker Meira Kumar were also present in the Wednesday’s meeting.
According to sources, the leaders apprised Congress leader Rahul Gandhi about the ongoing impasse in the seat-sharing arrangement with the RJD, which leads the opposition Grand Alliance, allowing him to take the final on it. The sources added that the Congress leaders were wondered as to why RJD “backtracking on its commitment” in this regard.
An RJD leader, however, on the condition of anonymity said that his party would continue to respect the alliance dharma and would go try to “resolve the crisis” soon. While leaders of both the Congress and RJD do not make any statement publicly on seat-sharing formula, sources say intense brinkmanship has been going within the alliance. Since the vote-base of both the political parties is more or less same, they ought to work hard to save the alliance failing which they would face massive rout, observe political analysts.
The Grand Alliance should not be in illusion that “Muslims are going to vote for them en-block”, observes an analyst. He further added that the Nitish Kumar government has continued to keep a “check on BJP’s communal agenda” in Bihar, so the JD-U will not be untouchable to the party. Scores of Muslim clerics have supported Mr Kumar in past. In several pockets, the JD-U has “significant influence” among the Muslim community. On the other hand, the RJD can maximum thrive on a section of OBC votes.
Already Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) and Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) left the Grand Alliance and Vikasheel Insaan Party (VIP), another component of the Grand Alliance is mulling option to walk out of the mahagathbandhan. Further CPI-ML, which recently joined the alliance, left the alliance and announced that it would contest 30 of the 71 seats going to polls in the first phase of assembly elections on October 28.