New Delhi: The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) led by Lalu Prasad Yadav on Monday sealed a seat-sharing arrangement with Ramvilas Paswan’s Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP) for the upcoming Assembly elections in Bihar.
As per the pre-poll arrangement between the two parties, RJD will contest 168 seats and the LJP will field its candidates on 68 of the total 243 seats in Bihar State Assembly.
“It gives me immense pleasure to announce that RJD and LJP led by Paswan ji have reached a seat sharing arrangement for the upcoming Assembly elections in Bihar. The modalities of the seat sharing has been worked out where in my party would contest polls on 168 seats while my brother Paswan’s party will contest elections on 68 seats,” RJD chief said while addressing a joint press conference with LJP chief and other senior leaders in the national capital.
The RJD chief, however, refused to divulge party-wise details about important constituencies.
Putting up a united front, Paswan added, “RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav will be the unopposed leader of the alliance and will also be our candidate for the post of Chief Minister if we rise to power this time.”
“LJP state president Pashupati Kumar Paras will be our candidate for the post of Deputy Chief Minister in the forthcoming Assembly elections,” Paswan said.
The occasion also marked the return of sitting JD-(U) MP Prabhunath Singh to the RJD fold.
The two leaders also came down heavily on the Nitish Kumar government currently under scanner for the alleged financial irregularities in the state’s welfare scheme.
Today’s development has scotched rumours doing the round that seat sharing talks between the two leaders have hit a roadblock.
Paswan had earlier ruled out any merger of his party with the Congress and said his party’s tie-up with RJD will last forever.
The RJD ruled Bihar for three terms from 1990 to 2005, with Lalu Prasad at the helm till 1997 and then his wife Rabri Devi as the chief minister till 2005. Lalu Prasad had to step down following corruption charges in the multi-crore rupees fodder scam.
After her husband`s resignation, Rabri Devi was forced to assume the office, becoming the first woman chief minister of the state.