Bihar's Grand Alliance leaders meet, pledge to contest polls together

New Delhi, June 24 :  Even as the BJP and its allies are stepping up efforts to woo voters ahead of the Bihar Assembly elections, the Grand Alliance partners in the state held a virtual meeting to discuss their poll preparation and pledged to fight the battle unitedly.

Representatives of the Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), Vikashsheel Insan Party (VIP), and Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) participated.

Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, KC Venugopal, and state Congress affairs incharge Shakti Singh Gohil attended the meeting.

Sources said it was a preliminary meeting and the issue of leadership was not discussed.

After the meeting, Gohil said: "Leaders of the Grand Alliance have decided to contest the coming Bihar Assembly elections together. The alliance will form the next government in Bihar as the people there are suffering while the ruling JD-U and BJP are overlooking their pain."

The leaders decided to meet again to chalk out the lectoral strategy and decided to set up a committee to ensure smooth functioning of the alliance.

The meeting went on for more than one hour. On Tuesday, HAM leader Jitan Ram Manjhi and RLSP leader Upendra Kushwaha had met Patel to red flag the issues.

RJD leader Manoj Jha said: "It was a preliminary meeting. All is well within the Grand Alliance. Bihar elections will be fought together."

The main contention among alliance partners is on seat-sharing as the Congress is eyeing around 75 seats as against 41 seats it contested last time and the RJD contested 100 seats.

Former Bihar Minister and Congress leader Shakiluzaman Ansari claimed that there would be amicable seat-sharing and it was a non-issue.

In the last elections held in October–November 2015 to the 243-member Assembly, the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal-United was part of the alliance and contested 100 seats. Now these 100 seats have to be distributed among the Grand Alliance partners.






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