Tug-of-war in grand alliance over Darbhanga, Madhubani seats
Patna, March 19: Seat sharing in 'mahagathbandhan' (grand alliance) for the Lok Sabha elections has turned into a tug-of-war among parties with Darbhanga and Madhubani parliamentary constituencies emerging as trouble spots.
A source in Rashtriya Janata Dal said: "The RJD wants 21 seats for itself, eight for Congress, five for Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, three for Hindustani Awam Party. It wants to leave the remaining three seats with Vikassheel Insan Party and Left parties.
Meanwhile, the Congress has already declared it candidates for the 11 Lok Sabha seats.
"Tejashwi Yadav is taking all decision in the party on behalf of his father Lalu Prasad. But his rising aspirations are a problem. On the one hand, he tweets about fair seat-sharing and, on the other, he is not ready to compromise. Moreover, they are offering just eight seats to the Congress," said a Congress leader.
"The Congress is ready to cooperate with any party and it doesn't want to harm the grand alliance," said senior Congress leader Premchand Mishra. He, however, asserted that the Congress being a national party should get seats "as per its stature".
Sources said both - the Congress and the RJD -- are in a tug-of-war situation over Darbhanga and Madhubani parliamentary constituencies.
The RJD wants to field Ali Ashraf Fatima from Darbhanga while the Congress wants to field MP, Kirti Azad. Similarly, the Congress is planning to field Shakil Ahmad from Madhubani while the RJD is in favour of Abdul Bari Siddiqui.
The twist in the tale is that HAM President Jitan Ram Manjhi also expects five seats to contest the election.
"Why is Congress demanding 11 seats in Bihar, what's its status here?" asked RJD Vice President Shivanand Tiwari. "Congress should be happy with what it is getting," he said.
According to sources, RJD is little uneasy with the success of Congress' rally in Gandhi Maidan and Priyanka Gandhi's elevation in the party. The RJD has weakened in Lalu's absence. Contrary to this, the entry of Tariq Anwar, Kirti Azad and Lovelys has given a boost to the Congress. Madhepura MP Pappu Yadav is also filling the gaps for the Congress.
In the circumstances, Left parties may not join the 'grand alliance'. For instance, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) has already announced its candidate from Aara seat.
"The big parties of 'grand alliance' should not consider small parties 'less worthy'. Without the help of Left parties, it is impossible to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party," said CPI-M General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya.
For the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, polling will be held in seven phases -- on April 11, 18, 23, 29 and on May 6, 12, and 19.