Negotiations over seat sharing begins between RJD, LJP

With Assembly election in Bihar round the corner, hard bargaining over seat sharing between allies RJD and LJP has begun, even as the Lalu Prasad led party has asked the latter to be "reasonable" in its demands.

Last Updated: Aug 13, 2010, 23:41 PM IST

New Delhi: With Assembly election in Bihar
round the corner, hard bargaining over seat sharing between
allies RJD and LJP has begun, even as the Lalu Prasad led
party has asked the latter to be "reasonable" in its demands.

Prasad today chaired a meeting of RJD`s Core Committee in
the evening to finalise the party`s poll strategy.

RJD sources said they were in favour of continuing the
alliance with Paswan`s party but the demand for seats from LJP
should be "reasonable".
Both the parties had yesterday ruled out the possibility
of their falling apart and termed as "rumour" the reports of
LJP`s merger with Congress.

Congress has also dismissed suggestions of a possible
tie-up with either of the two parties for the upcoming Bihar
Assembly elections and said it will go it alone.

"We are going it alone. We are preparing to contest all
the 243 seats in the state," AICC General Secretary in-charge
of the state Mukul Wasnik said today.

"Koi khichri nahin pak rahi hai (there is no such
thing)... there is no such talk. LJP-RJD talks are in the
advanced stage for Bihar polls," Paswan had said yesterday.

Meanwhile, sources in both the parties admitted that
there are certain differences over the number of seats to be
contested by each party.
RJD sources said the party is open to concede to LJP all
the seats it won in the last Assembly election in October
2005, and also the seats where it came second or third. There
are nearly 30-35 of such seats.

However, Paswan`s party is also demanding equal
distribution of the seats RJD had left for Congress and the
Left parties in the last Assembly election, when Paswan`s
party fought separately from RJD. There are 56 such seats.

In the 243-member Assembly, RJD currently has 54 MLAs
while LJP has 10. In the previous Assembly election, Paswan`s
party had won 29 seats, while RJD had won 77.

LJP`s logic is that it had contested from 12 out of the
40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar in the last Lok Sabha election.
The 12 seats covered around 75 Assembly segments, which should
be its share.

PTI