Patna: The Janata Dal (United) state president Vashishtha Narayan Singh on Saturday announced that the 'Mahagathbandhan', or grand alliance, of JD(U), RJD and Congress have reached a consensus on seat distribution for the upcoming Bihar Assembly Elections.
Top leaders from the three parties put up a joint show to announce which seat was allotted to which alliance partner and pointed out that the parties would announce their candidates individually.
Narayan Singh further said that the grand alliance partners sat together and reached a consensus on seat distribution and it was done amidst "harmony and bonhomie".
Calling it a "big achievement", Congress Legislature Party leader Sadanand Singh, flanked by RJD state president Ram Chandra Purve and MLC Bhola Yadav, claimed, "Our opponent NDA is riven with severe infighting over seats and their leaders are making personal attacks on each other. On the other hand, we have already decided which party will put up its candidate from where."
The JD(U) state president claimed that the infighting in the NDA rendered it unsuitable to rule Bihar, nor they had the capability to run it.
"This election is of national importance as it will decide the future direction of the country," he said.
Of the 243 Assembly seats, JD(U) and RJD are contesting 101 seats each while Congress will put up candidates in 41 seats.
Among the four prestigious Assembly seats in the state capital, the Congress will put up candidates on Bankipur and Kumhrar, JD(U) has got the Digha seat and RJD will contest on Patna Sahib seat.
Of these seats in the state capital, the BJP had won Bankipur, Kumhrar and Digha seats in the 2010 Assembly elections, while Digha was won by JD(U) leader Poonam Devi, who later turned a rebel.
Among the seats in rural area of Patna district, five seats - Fatuha, Danapur, Maner, Masaurhi and Paliganj - having a sizable presence of Yadavas - have been given to RJD.
On the other hand, JD(U) will contest three - Mokama, Barh and Phulwari. Congress has got only one seat - Bikram.
In the minority-dominated Seemanchal area in the northeast corner of the state and comprising of Kishanganj, Araria, Purnia and Katihar districts involving 24 Assembly seats, Congress will put up candidates on 10, JD(U) on nine and RJD on five seats.
The Seemanchal seats will also see Asaduddin Owaisi, president of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) putting up his candidates in the state for the first time, making the contest a triangular one between Grand Alliance, NDA and his party.
Going by the allotted seats, Congress, a pan-India party, has been given no representation in 14 districts in the state. RJD candidates will be spread over in 35 districts while JD(U) will have its men fighting the polls in all 38 districts.
The NDA is yet to finalise seat distribution and is expected to do so in steps. Rebellion will be a thing to watch out for in both the rival alliances once they announce the list as well as candidates.
The BJP had on September 15 announced a list of 43 candidates after the first meeting of the Central Election Committee (CEC).
Elections for the 243-member Bihar Assembly will be held in five phases between October 12 and November 5. Counting of votes will take place on November 8. The term of the current Bihar Assembly comes to an end on November 29.
(With Agency inputs)