Patna: In a bid to pacify an important part of the Janata Parivar alliance – Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav - Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad announced on Saturday that SP will contest on five seats in the crucial upcoming Bihar Assembly elections.
"We have decided to give three seats earlier allotted to NCP and two others from the RJD quota to SP in the Bihar elections," Prasad told reporters here.
The announcement comes in the backdrop of media reports claming an 'upset' Mulayam Singh Yadav may skip Janata Parivar`s Mahagatbandhan rally to be organised by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav in the state capital tomorrow .
However, Bihar SP chief Ramchandra Singh Yadav said that Mulayam called party secretary general Kiranmoy Nanda to Lucknow on hearing the announcement made by Prasad.
"We are awaiting a final word on participating in the rally tomorrow," the Bihar SP chief told reporters, ANI reported.
"Nanda was supposed to be present in the press conference here, but he was called to Lucknow by 'Netaji' (Mulayam). We are awaiting party decision's on tomorrow's rally," he said.
Asked if he was thankful to Lalu Prasad for allotting five seats to SP, he said "Personally, I regard Laluji as a guardian, but a decision on seats and participation in tomorrow's rally would come from Lucknow."
Ramchandra had led an indefinite dharna after the party was denied any seat in the grand "secular" alliance on August 12, when it was decided that RJD and JD-U will contest 100 seats each of total 243 Bihar assembly, and Congress 40 seats and three seats were left for NCP.
On other hand, earlier on Thursday, NCP general secretary Tariq Anwar had said, "The way they (secular alliance) ditched us while deciding on seats, it seems there is no room left for talks with it... It seems we are left with only one option - that is to form a third front with Left and other parties."
The August 30 "Swabhiman" rally of the grand RJD, JD-U, Congress and Samajwadi Party alliance, will see Sonia Gandhi sharing the dais with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad among others. According to JD-U sources, after Nitish Kumar had talked with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and other senior Congress leaders, Sonia agreed to attend the rally.
PM Modi has already addressed three "Parivartan" rallies in Muzaffarpur, Gaya and Saharsa ahead of the assembly polls. He will speak at another rally in Bhagalpur on September 1.
Leaving no stone unturned to mark its victory in the upcoming Assembly Elections, BJP has also expanded its alliance by including Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party, Upendra Khushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party and Hindustani Awam Morcha of Jitan Ram Manjhi.
BJP leaders are also in touch with rebel RJD MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav who has launched his own outfit Jan Adhikar Manch.
Bihar is likely to witness a multi-phase election in October-November. The term of the current Assembly ends on November 29.
(With Agency inputs)