Seat sharing among constituents of the opposition "Mahagathbandhan" (grand alliance) in Bihar for Lok Sabha polls will be announced on Monday, Hindustani Awami Morcha (Secular) president Jitan Ram Manjhi said Saturday. The announcement will come following another round of talks among the partners on Sunday, the former chief minister said.
On Thursday, Bihar Congress Campaign Committee chairman Akhilesh Prasad Singh had said the seat sharing would be declared on Sunday. "We (grand alliance) will announce our seat sharing for Lok Sabha polls in the state on March 18 at any cost," Majhi told reporters here after a meeting of his party's
parliamentary board. The 'Mahagathbandhan', as the grand alliance is called in local parlance, comprises old allies like the Congress and the RJD, besides new entrants such as Upendra Kushwaha's RLSP, the HAM(S), Sharad Yadav's Loktantrik Janata Dal and the
Vikashsheel Insaan Party, a fledgling outfit floated by former Bollywood set designer Mukesh Sahni. "Two rounds of talks among the grand alliance.partners have been held in Delhi and another round will be held in Patna tomorrow (Sunday)," Manjhi said.
An agreement has been virtually reached on the number of seats the HAM(S) would contest, Manjhi said without divulging the details. He said his party wanted to contest in five Lok Sabha seats in Bihar.
Earlier in the day, Manjhi's son Santosh Kumar Suman, an MLC and the party's parliamentary board chairman, said an agreement over 3-4 seats have been reached and the deadlock over the other seats will be resolved Sunday. After the RJD, the HAM(S) has the strongest support base among the grand alliance.partners in the state and it is not less than that of the Congress, he asserted.
When pointed out that the Congress has been given 11 seats and the HAM(S) only five, Manjhi said the Bihar Congress had demanded 11 seats but it has not been finalised. Polling in Bihar will be held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19.