A week after the return of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi from the United States, where he had gone for the treatment of his mother Sonia Gandhi, the Grand Alliance on Friday agreed on seat-sharing arrangement for the coming Bihar Assembly poll. The official announcement is likely to be made on Sat (Oct 3) in a joint Press conference.
According to reports the Rashtriya Janata Dal would contest 134 seats, while Congress on 68. The largest Left party, the CPI ML, according to sources, has got 19 seats while five each has gone to the CPI and CPM. The Vikassheel Insan Party of Mukesh Sahni has got 12 seats. The reports said that the final agreement has been made after a direct telephonic talk between the leader of opposition in Bihar Assembly, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and the former Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
The finalisation of the seat-sharing arrangement has ended days of media speculations about the so-called disintegration of the Grand Alliance. Some regional television channels had been leaving no stone unturned to claim that the Grand Alliance had disappeared in Bihar following the walking away of the Hindustani Awam Morcha leader Jitan Ram Manjhi, and Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP.
Even some state level leaders of Congress known for their inclination towards Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar were busy all these days planting speculative stories about the break up in the Grand Alliance. It needs to be mentioned that there was never any real doubt about the RJD and Congress contesting jointly.
As early as on February 3 last year, Rahul Gandhi, while addressing a public rally in Patna on the eve of Lok Sabha poll, made it amply clear that Tejashwi would be the chief minister candidate of the Grand Alliance for the 2020 Assembly poll. Sources claimed that after the finalisation of numbers the talks over the seat-wise distribution would end smoothly.