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'No tensions, seat-sharing deal reached in Bihar': Tejashwi Yadav amid speculations of rift with Congress

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.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi New Delhi Published on: March 27, 2024 10:39 IST
Lok Sabha Elections, Bihar,  RJD, Congress, Tejashwi Yadav
Image Source : PTI (FILE) RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Refuting rumours of a rift within the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav said that an understanding over seat sharing for the Lok Sabha elections in Bihar has been reached. He also mentioned that an announcement on the same will be made in Patna soon.

Yadav attended a meeting of the INDIA bloc regarding Bihar's seat-sharing formula at Congress leader Mukul Wasnik's residence in New Delhi. Following the meeting, he stated that his party, along with the Congress and the Left, will contest the Lok Sabha polls together in Bihar. 

The former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister said the I.N.D.I.A. bloc partners have agreed orally on the seat-sharing arrangement and all the constituents are getting a respectable deal. 

His comments come in light of reports suggesting unease within the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance in Bihar regarding seat sharing. The Congress was reportedly displeased with the "unilateral" announcements of candidates by the RJD on certain seats it was interested in contesting in Bihar.

 

'No tensions between us'

"The Congress-RJD alliance is the oldest alliance. We have been together in all situations and have contested elections together. There have never been any tensions between us. We have both always understood each other," said Yadav, who was flanked by Bihar Congress president Akhilesh Prasad Singh and AICC in-charge of state Mohan Prakash.

"Our collective agenda is to stop the BJP. I can say that Bihar will present a shocking result. And we have a strategy for that," the RJD leader said.

Yadav further pointed out that the media was neglecting to cover the "discord" and "dissatisfaction" among NDA constituents in Bihar while highlighting tensions in the INDIA bloc "when there were none."

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.

(With PTI Inputs)

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

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

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