The Congress finally managed to get its seat sharing formula in place in a major state for the coming 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Congress and its allies announced their seat sharing pact for Bihar, where the ‘mahagatbandhan’ is led by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
RJD will contest in 20 of Bihar’s 40 Lok Sabha constituencies. The Congress has been allotted 9 seats, three less than what it had demanded. Five seats have been given to Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), which had quit the NDA in December 2018.
Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) (HAM-S) and Mukhesh Sahni’s Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP) have been given three seats each. The CPI (Marxist-Leninist) will contest one seat under the RJD quota.
The announcement of the seat sharing formula was made at a press conference in Patna on Friday. The news conference was conspicuous for the absence of the major faces of the alliance. RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, leaders of the Congress central leadership, senior leader Sharad Yadav, HAM-S’s Jitan Ram Manjhi and RLSP’s Upendra Kushwaha all chose to skip the announcement – simply put, no major leader of the allies was present.
The announcement was made by RJD’s Manoj Jha and Ramachandra Poorv; HAM-S’s Vijay Yadav, RLSP’s Satyanand Dangi, Congress’s Madan Mohan Jha and VIP’s Arjun Rai.
The alliance partners also announced the candidates for a handful of prominent seats. Gaya will see Manjhi contest as the mahagatbandhan candidate. Also named were former JDU MLC Upendra Prasad Pratyashi of HAM-S from Aurangabad, RJD’s Vibha Devi from Nawada and RLSP’s Bhudeo Choudhary from Jamui.