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Rift in Mahagathbandhan over seat-sharing? Tejashwi Yadav to hold meeting with Congress in Delhi today

Amid the deadlock over seat-sharing talks with the Congress, RJD has so far given tickets to all four constituencies going to polls in the first phase of Lok Sabha Elections on April 19.

Reported By : Nitish Chandra Edited By : Arushi Jaiswal
Patna
Updated on: March 24, 2024 11:39 IST
Lok Sabha Elections, Bihar
Image Source : ANI Top leaders of the INDIA bloc at Gandhi Maidan in Patna

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: With the Election Commission accepting nominations of candidates for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections on April 19, the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) in Bihar appears to be facing disagreements over seat-sharing negotiations. Tensions have escalated between the RJD and Congress, primarily due to the RJD's distribution of symbols without finalising seat allocations. RJD has allocated symbols to its candidates on numerous seats, some of which were also contested by Congress candidates. This has led to friction within the alliance, potentially resulting in a breakdown of the opposition I.N.D.I. alliance or the emergence of friendly contests on certain seats.

If sources are to be believed, today (March 24), former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav is expected to travel to Delhi for the final round of talks with Congress leaders regarding seat sharing. Negotiations on seat allocations between RJD and Congress have not yet been concluded. Additionally, symbols have already been allocated to RJD candidates for some seats where the Congress had intended to contest from, thus further complicating the discussions.

Congress demanding 9 seats 

According to sources, the RJD is reportedly only willing to allocate 6 seats to Congress, whereas Congress is pushing for a minimum of 9 seats in the seat-sharing negotiations.

Congress was pressing for the Aurangabad seat for its own candidacy, with former Governor Nikhil Kumar reportedly making preparations in that regard. However, RJD has awarded the party symbol to turncoat Abhay Kushwaha, who recently flipped slides from the Janata Dal (United) to join the RJD.

Pappu Yadav was preparing to contest from Purnia after joining Congress, but RJD included Bima Bharti, a former state minister, who represents the Rupauli assembly segment in the Purnea district, in the party, indicating her entry into the electoral arena. Pappu Yadav has also said that he can leave the world, but not Purnia.

Meira Kumar, who was contesting from Sasaram, wanted the Karakat seat for her son, but JD(U) has given the seat its own candidate, although no official announcement has been made yet. Meira has refused to contest from Sasaram.

Congress was demanding the Katihar seat for Tarique Anwar, but RJD also wants to nominate its candidate here. According to sources, RJD is ready to give Kishanganj, Patna Sahib, Samastipur, Sasaram, and Gopalganj. Meanwhile, discussions are ongoing for other seats.

Lok Sabha elections 

Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases beginning from April 19 and results will be announced on June 4. The Election Commission has said that the Lok Sabha elections will be held in 7 phases. In Bihar, voting for the first phase will begin on April 19 and voting for the seventh phase will take place on June 1. 

The other phases will be on April 26, May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1. Assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will be held on April 19, and in Andhra Pradesh on May 13. Elections to Odisha assembly will be held in four phases on May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1. Bypolls will also be held for 26 assembly constituencies, Kumar said at a press conference flanked by two new Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu. The counting of votes will be held on June 4.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Election 2024: Bihar's Rupauli MLA Bima Bharti quits JDU, joins Lalu Yadav's RJD

Also Read: Lalu Yadav's daughters Rohini Acharya and Misa Bharti likely to contest Lok Sabha elections: Sources

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