Grand Alliance: Congress bid to isolate RJD

Patna: With fissures developing in the Grand Alliance over the rigid stand of the RJD on sharing of political space with other partners, there are apprehensions that the Congress may pull out of the alliance along with RLSP and HAM (S), leaving RJD isolated.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday summoned the RLSP president and former union minister, Upendra Kushwaha, for discussions in New Delhi. Kushwaha, who had just landed at  Patna airport, was asked to return to New Delhi by the same flight. The Congress is unhappy with the RJD’s reluctance to allot respectable number of seats to its allies and insisting on 11 seats for the Congress.

RJD leader Tejashwai Prasad Yadav’s comment accusing the alliance partners of giving precedence to their narrow interests on seat sharing has aggravated the situation. RJD president Lalu Prasad too failed to pacify the allies from his prison ward on Saturday.

Former chief minister and HAM(S) president Jitan Ram Manjhi has said that the seat sharing will be announced on Monday. But given the rumblings within the alliance, with each constituent claiming a larger share of the electoral pie, it is to be seen whether there will be an announcement today.

On the other hand, the NDA, on Sunday, has finalised the deal with its partners. As per the initial understanding, the BJP and the JD (U) will contest 17 seats each and the LJP six. The joint NDA press conference was held at the JD (U) office in Patna in the presence of the three NDA partners.

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