Deadlock on Monday continued on the issue of Congress alliance in Bihar for Lok Sabha polls with seat sharing with RJD coming under a strain and JD(U) ruling out any adjustment with the party.
“Unlike BJP, Congress has many options even in Bihar,” senior leader P.C. Chacko, who heads the AICC Scrutiny Committee for Bihar, said.
His remarks came a day after RJD supremo Lalu Prasad stuck to his offer of 11 Lok Sabha seats to Congress and one to NCP, and appealed to Sonia Gandhi to agree to the seat-sharing formula.
JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav ruled out any seat adjustments with the Congress, maintaining that his party was in the front of 11 non-BJP, non-Congress parties.
“We have built a front of 11 parties. We will strengthen that and spoil the game of the Congress and the BJP”, Mr. Yadav said, dismissing suggestions that there was a turmoil in his party on the issue of tie-ups.
The remarks came even as Congress sources said that back channel talks with Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) have begun.
There is a view that Congress talking to JD(U) again may be a pressure tactic to make RJD fall in line as it is playing hard ball.
Congress had fought the 2004 Lok Sabha election in alliance with RJD and Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP and the alliance had won 29 of the 40 Parliamentary seats.
In 2009, Congress fought alone as its alliance for Lok Sabha polls broke with RJD and LJP.
While Mr. Paswan has aligned with BJP this time, RJD has asked Congress to decide on its offer of contesting 11 Lok Sabha seats. Mr. Lalu has assured Ms. Gandhi if Congress accepts the offer, he would deliver results in Bihar and Jharkhand.