NEW DELHI: Despite intensive negotiations between Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) and Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), an agreement on seat-sharing for the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections remains elusive, as per sources. The discord primarily revolves around the allocation of Lok Sabha constituencies in Sitamarhi, Madhepura, Gopalganj, Siwan, and Bhagalpur Banka. Reports suggest that RJD, led by Lalu Yadav, is insistent on fielding candidates in these constituencies, a proposition firmly rejected by the ruling JDU. The Nitish camp is adamant about retaining seats where JDU holds significant influence over the electorate, particularly those secured in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when the party clinched 16 out of Bihar’s 40 seats, with Congress winning one.
In the existing Lok Sabha, 16 members are from JDU, 17 from BJP, six from both factions of LJP and one from Congress. RJD has no presence in the Lower House.
After the Mumbai meeting of the INDIA bloc, Nitish Kumar met Lalu Prasad to discuss seat-sharing for Lok Sabha elections in Bihar. According to the preliminary round of talks held between the two Bihar leaders of the INDIA Bloc, it was agreed that both JDU and RJD would share 16 seats each, as per sources.
It also emerged that the Congress and three left parties would share the remaining eight seats, sources said. RJD chief Lalu will help the Congress in selecting its winnable nominees, as per the discussions held between the two leaders.
The INDIA alliance partners are engaged in reconciling conflicting claims and defining the electoral battleground for the next Lok Sabha polls. The opposition coalition, known as the INDIA bloc, is committed to contesting the 2024 elections in unity, emphasizing a collaborative approach in seat-sharing arrangements across states.
Expressing confidence in the alliance’s potential to defeat the BJP, leaders within the bloc have established a 14-member coordination committee, aiming to expedite seat-sharing discussions and finalize a formula by the end of September. This initiative was proposed during informal discussions among alliance leaders.
Rahul Gandhi, a prominent Congress leader, expressed optimism during a joint news conference, asserting that the alliance, representing a substantial portion of the population, can overcome the ruling party when united against the BJP.
In a significant gathering at Mumbai’s Grand Hyatt Hotel, 63 representatives from 28 political parties participated in the third meeting of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) alliance. The meeting established a 14-member coordination panel, featuring leaders from various coalition parties.
The resolution passed during the meeting reiterated the alliance’s commitment to contesting the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in collaboration and promptly addressing seat-sharing arrangements. Additionally, the INDIA bloc pledged to organize public rallies addressing pressing public concerns across the nation. Their communication and media strategies will be coordinated with the theme ‘Judega Bharat, Jeetega India’ in various languages.