INDIA Bloc Faces Bihar Hurdle as Congress-RJD Tussle Puts Seat Declaration on Hold Even as Nominations Begi – News18

Reported By: Saurabh Rathore
Edited By: Apoorva Misra
Last Updated: March 27, 2024, 13:19 IST
Patna, India
The political churning within the bloc is visible in the form of a tussle between Congress and RJD in the state. (PTI)
Things don’t seem to be looking up for the INDIA bloc in Bihar. The RJD has decided to give tickets to at least eight candidates, with sources confirming that party president Lalu Prasad’s daughters Misa Bharti and Rohini Acharya are set to contest from Patliputra and Saran. The RJD has claimed 11 seats so far without any joint declaration by the INDIA bloc.
The CPI(M), meanwhile, has given a ticket to Sanjay Kumar from Khagaria as well as announced Awadhesh Rai as the candidate from Begusarai.
The numbers make it clear that so far, only 13 names have been cleared of the 40 from the INDIA bloc in Bihar. However, what is worrisome is that the candidates have not been officially announced by the opposition alliance.
The political churning within the bloc is visible in the form of a tussle between Congress and RJD in the state. RJD sources reveal that Lalu Prasad’s party is not going to comprise on anything less than 30 seats and if the party gets two seats in Jharkhand, it can give Congress one more seat in Bihar.
The Congress, which had not performed well in the 2020 assembly elections, is on the back foot. The RJD says had the Congress performed well in the last assembly elections, Tejashwi Yadav would have been the chief minister. Congress had won just 19 seats of the 70 that it contested. This time, the Grand Old Party was looking for 9-11 seats for the general elections but RJD is not keen to give more than six. The Left might get four seats in the alliance.
There is discontent in Bihar Congress as the party’s senior leader Nikhil Kumar, who was also the governor of Nagaland and Kerala, was left surprised after RJD announced Abhay Kushwaha’s name for Aurangabad. Another reason for the tug-of-war between Congress and RJD is the Purnea seat. Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, who merged his Jan Adhikar Party with Congress a few days ago, was confident of getting a Congress ticket from Purnea.
However, RJD appeased rebel JDU MLA Bima Bharti by giving membership to the EBC leader. Taking to social media, Pappu Yadav wrote: “Will die, will not leave Congress. Will leave the world, will not leave Purnea.” The post exposed the rift between Congress and RJD. Adding distress to the alliance, Congress is also vouching for Tariq Anwar to contest from the Katihar constituency, a move RJD is not keen on.
Bihar Congress chief Akhilesh Prasad Singh said: “We are hopeful that everything will be fine. RJD and Congress are major parts of the INDIA bloc. Things will be sorted out in a day or two.”
The NDA, excluding LJP(R), sorted out its candidate list just before Holi, giving them time to celebrate with their supporters. The BJP has given a list of all its 17 candidates, and so has the JDU for 16 constituencies. The HAM (Hindustan Awam Morcha) and RLM (Rashtriya Lok Morcha) who are the part of NDA have one candidate each (Jitan Ram Manjhi and Upendra Kushwaha respectively). These announcements were made last week from Delhi through a press conference.
Over 63 per cent of Bihar’s population comprises OBCs and EBCs. Over 21 per cent are SC/ST and more than 15 per cent belong to the unreserved category. Keeping in mind the ‘hissedari and bhagedari’, Bihar elections will be based on the caste survey conducted last year.
Although RJD is concentrating on becoming a MY-BAAP (Muslim Yadav, Backward, Agda, Aadhi Abadi and Poor) party, the focus is on the EBC vote bank. The party plans to give seven seats to Kurmi/Kushwaha, a major EBC vote bank of NDA.
Of the agreed 17 seats, the BJP has given 10 seats to General, four to OBC, two to EBC and one to Scheduled Caste. No Muslim or woman has been given a ticket this time from BJP’s quota. Also no one from BJP president Samrat Chaudhary’s caste ie Koeri has managed to get a ticket. To be specific, seats have been divided as follows: General Rajputs-5, Bhumihar-2, Brahmin-2, Kayasth-1, Yadavs-3 and Baniya-1. The BJP has distributed 13 tickets to sitting MPs.
The JDU has given three seats to general category, six to Backwards, five to EBC and one each to Muslim and Mahadalit. Twelve sitting MPs of JDU have been given tickets again.
A total of eight sitting MPs have been denied ticket this time from BJP and JDU. The NDA had 39 MPs of 40 in Bihar in the last general elections.


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