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Congress-RJD tensions subside; Bihar Mahagathbandhan back on track

Congress leaders dismissed all rumours of crack in Bihar's mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) after sources speculated on a rift over the Darbhangha seat.

Congress-RJD tensions subside; Bihar Mahagathbandhan back on track

Congress leaders dismissed all rumours of crack in Bihar's mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) after sources speculated on a rift over the Darbhangha seat.

“Bihar's mahagathbandha will continue. The puzzle over seat-sharing has been solved. An announcement on the distribution of the seats will be made soon,” sources told Zee News.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's meeting with members of the party's Bihar unit was held earlier on Thursday.

Cracks appeared in the mahagathbandhan over the Darbhanga Lok Sabha seat, represented by former test cricketer Kirti Azad, who quit the BJP to join the Congress.

"Darbhanga is our traditional seat. We have won it many times. Even in the 2014 polls, which were swept by the BJP-led NDA, our candidate lost the battle by a thin margin.

"We would therefore like to contest the seat again and field Abdul Bari Siddiqui this time. A formal announcement would be made shortly," RJD MLA and chief state spokesman Bhai Virendra told PTI.

When asked about Bhai Virendra's statement, Siddiqui said, "I am a disciplined party worker. If the party asks me to contest from Darbhanga, I will put my heart, mind and soul into the fight."

Bihar's mahagathbandhan announced its final seat-sharing deal for the upcoming Lok Sabha election 2019 on March 22. The RJD will contest on 20 seats, Congress on nine seats, Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) on five seats, Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and Vikasheel Insaan Party (VIP) on three seats each and Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation on one seat (from RJD quota).