PATNA (TIP): The JDU and RJD will contest on 100 seats each in the 243-member Bihar Assembly elections, scheduled to take place in September-October, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar announced on August 12 .
The Congress will field candidates on 40 seats. In the Assembly elections in 2010, the JDU had contested on 141 seats and won 115 seats while their ally BJP fought on 102 seats and won on 91. However, the alliance between the two parties broke in June 2013 over the projection of Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The term of the current Assembly ends on November 29. Kumar announced coming into being of the grand secular alliance and seat sharing among the three parties in presence of RJD President Lalu Prasad and Congress General Secretary and in-charge of Bihar affairs C P Joshi at a joint press conference. After his conviction in fodder scam, Lalu Yadav was debarred from contesting elections.
The JDU-RJD alliance have projected Nitish Kumar as their chief ministerial candidate, while suspense continues over the CM face of the BJP. Nitish Kumar told reporters that the Nationalist Congress Party
In reply to a question that Samajwadi Party whose leader Mulayam Singh Yadav is heading Janata Parivar, had not got any seat, Prasad answered “he is my Samdhi (relative) and if need be I will accommodate him.” Kumar said the grand secular alliance would have a Common Minimum Programme and all constituents would hold joint campaign for the crucial state election in September-October. “The first rally of the grand secular alliance would be held in Patna on August 30,” Kumar and Lalu Prasad said. The RJD President indicated that the decision to fight on 100 seats only was a compromise for a cause.
“Inspite of all difference his party has come to the conclusion that to keep the communal and fascist forces away, it has to move ahead by accommodating others,” Prasad told reporters. Congress General Secretary and former Union minister C P Joshi said his party has entered the secular alliance as a constituent because it thinks “today Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the biggest threat to the country.” Asked if Congress President Sonia Gandhi or Vice President Rahul Gandhi would be present during August 30 rally or in future programme of the alliance, Joshi was evasive.
“These are part of strategy which we will let the media know through separate press conference later on,” Joshi accompanied by state Congress President Ashok Choudhary said. With secular alliance facing several doubtful questions on possibility of return of ‘jungle raj’ (euphemism to describe RJD’s 15 year rule marked by bad law and order), Prasad volunteered to answer majority of the uncomfortable questions all the while taking potshots at BJP.