The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP) are close to stitching up a seat-sharing arrangement for the coming Assembly elections in Bihar. Both RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his LJP counterpart Ram Vilas Paswan scotched rumours that talks between them had hit a roadblock and maintained that the exercise had actually reached an advanced stage.
Mr. Paswan on Thursday ruled out any merger of his party with the Congress and said his talks with Mr. Prasad were in the final stages. He said the alliance was there to stay.
Mr. Prasad charged that the media were trying to drive a wedge between him and Mr. Paswan, and arriving at a seat-sharing arrangement would not be a difficult proposition.
The RJD is said to have conceded much of the LJP's demands, willing to spare about 70 seats out of the 243 at stake, but the bone of contention are over a few seats that both want to contest.