Lok Sabha Election 2019

Congress to contest 11 seats in Bihar

Coming together: Rahul Gandhi shared the stage with alliance partners in Bihar during a rally in Patna last month.

Coming together: Rahul Gandhi shared the stage with alliance partners in Bihar during a rally in Patna last month.   | Photo Credit: File photo

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Party finalises alliance with other Opposition parties in the State.

After weeks of negotiations, the Opposition alliance in Bihar has been sealed with the Congress agreeing to contest 11 seats, climbing down from its earlier demand for 14.

The decision was taken at a meeting at Congress general secretary K.C. Venugopal’s residence here. An official announcement is expected by Sunday. Sources said the RJD will contest 20 seats, the Congress 11, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, led by Upendra Kushwaha, three and the Hindustan Awam Party of Jitin Ram Manjhi two.

The remaining four seats will be distributed among the Vikassheel Insaan Party, led by Mukesh Sahani, the Jan Loktantrik Party, led by Sharad Yadav, the CPI and the CPI(ML).

Sources said the RJD had refused to concede the Begusarai seat to the CPI, where the latter was planning to field former JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar. “We had lost Begusarai only by a very narrow margin in the 2014 election. So there is no way we will leave it to the CPI,” a senior RJD leader said. The CPI(M) has not been accommodated in the alliance.

It took the alliance more than a month since Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressed a rally in Patna where all the alliance partners shared the stage for the first time in the State.

The Congress has been demanding 14 seats. The RJD was adamant on giving it only 10. The arrangement could be worked out only after the RJD agreed to grant another seat.

The Congress had fought on 12 seats in 2014 elections but managed to win only two seats. Out of the forty seats in Bihar, four are with the RJD.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 10:14:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/congress-to-contest-11-seats-in-bihar/article26525248.ece

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