The Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Nationalist Congress Party announced their alliance in Bihar for the upcoming 2014 Lok Sabha polls, ending their impasse over seat sharing.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad, State Congress president Ashok Choudhary and State NCP spokesman Anil Kishore Jha declared their tie-up at a joint press conference at Mr. Prasad’s residence at 10 Circular Road.
As per the electoral understanding among the three parties, RJD will contest 27 seats, Congress will contest 12 and NCP will contest one seat of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar.
The allies affirmed their resolve to “defeat” communal forces
“We want to tell the people of Bihar that communalism is the main danger before us. Communal forces are trying to destroy out unity. The world has seen through the leader of communalism Narendra Modi. He wants to implement the communal agenda of the RSS [Rashtriya Swayam Sevak] and the Bharatiya Janata Party. The country will develop only when we have peace and harmony,” Mr. Prasad said.
“The Congress has decided to go with the RJD and NCP to give a fitting reply to the communal forces in Bihar. The alliance will weaken the communal forces,” Mr. Choudhary said.
Asked about All India Congress Committee general secretary’s Shakeel Ahmed’s decision to forego his claim over the Madhibani seat, which was the main bone of contention, Mr. Choudhary said, “Keeping communal forces out is the more important than becoming an MP.”
The constituencies of Sasaram (SC), Kishanganj, Aurangabad, Supaul, Hajipur (SC), Purnea, Patna Sahib, Nalanda, Samastipur (SC), Valmiki Nagar, Gopalganj (SC) and Muzaffarpur have gone to the Congress. The party has two sitting MPs in Kishanganj and Sasaram, the constituency of Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the RJD won four Lok Sabha seats. However, Mr. Prasad was disqualified from the Saram seat after his conviction in the fodder scam, taking its current tally of sitting MPs to three. Of the 27 seats, the party will contest in Madhibani, Motihari, Bhagalpur, Khagaria, Patliputra, Jhanjharpur, Gaya – over both parties had staked claim.
The NCP will contest the Katihar seat, now with the BJP.
Targets Nitish Kumar
Mr. Prasad targeted Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar saying he was not a factor in Bihar.
“Both Mr. Kumar and Mr. Modi have a secret agreement. Mr. Modi said at his rally that Mr. Kumar received him warmly behind closed doors, but only shied away from the cameras. Bureaucracy and corruption have become rampant in Mr. Kumar’s regime,” he said.
He denied that Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan’s alliance with the BJP might affect the secular unity.
Mr. Prasad thanked Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice president Rahul Gandhi and other senior leaders.
Rahul Gandhi is likely hold a rally in Bihar in mid-March.
Mr. Prasad said parties will conduct their poll campaigns using all three party symbols.
In 2009, the Congress and RJD could not form an alliance as their seat-sharing talks failed ahead of the polls. The RJD had a tie-up with the LJP. Mr.
"It was a mistake our alliance [with Congress] did not happen in 2009," Mr. Prasad said on Wednesday.