Even as Bihar’s Grand Alliance officially announced the seat sharing arrangement, Mukesh Shahni’s VIP (Vikassheel Insaan Party) decided to quit the bandwagon midway, in the joint press conference, alleging he was ‘stabbed in the back’. As soon as Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav concluded his address giving details of the seat distribution, Mukesh Sahni’s supporters started raising slogans. Meanwhile, Sahni asked for the mic and announced that he would leave the Grand Alliance.
Earlier Tejashwi declared that Comunist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India (Marxist-leninist) will contest on four, six and nineteen seats respectively. Congress will put up its candidates on 70 seats along with Valmiki Nagar parliamentary seat where the bypoll is scheduled to be held with the Assembly election. RJD has kept 144 seats for itself in which it was to accommodate VIP and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. However, in the new circumstances RJD will have to just share its quota of seats with JMM.
In his previous statements Mukesh Sahni has been quite optimistic to get a favorable deal from the RJD. He was the first person to support Tejashwi Yadav as Grand Alliance’s chief ministerial candidate. However, political analysts are of the view that Sahni was too ambitious compared to what he can bring to the table. After the debacle of last general election RJD did a study to assess the effectiveness of three smaller allies i.e. RLSP, HAM and VIP. According to the RJD sources, the study revealed that these parties could not transfer the votes of the respective social groups they claim to represent to the Grand Alliance’s candidates.
Incidentally, after the exit of VIP all the above mentioned parties are out of the Grand Alliance. What is particularly problematic for VIP is that the party may not get the opportunity to join the other main alliance National Democratic Alliance since the decision came so close to the elections. On the other hand, NDA is grappling with turmoil over the seat arrangement and one of its ally Lok Janshakti Party is on the brink of exit.