Lok Sabha elections 2019: Pappu Yadav, Jitan Ram Manjhi hold up ‘done’ Opposition deal in Bihar

Following assertion by Congress president Rahul Gandhi that a seat deal in Bihar for the Lok Sabha polls would be finalised this week, all eyes are on former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi and Madhepura MP Pappu Yadav.

Manjhi is said to be unhappy with the offer to contest two to three seats. The HAM (S) chief, who attended a marathon meeting of Grand Alliance in New Delhi on Wednesday, is learnt to have said he would not settle for less than four seats.

According to sources, Manjhi has been offered Gaya and Nalanda, but he wants Jamui and Aurangabad too. “We should get one seat higher than RLSP and other smaller allies. In case RLSP gets three seats, we would not settle for less than four seats. It is up to the RJD and Congress to accommodate us,” said Rajesh Pandey, national spokesperson of HAM (S).

The other seat of contention is Madhepura. While RJD is opposing entry of its rebel MP and chief of JAP, Pappu Yadav, into the GA fold, Congress wants him to contest from Madhepura, a seat Sharad Yadav is eying with the RJD’s support. Also, in Sheohar, Congress wants to field Lovely Anand, wife of strongman Anand Mohan, but RJD is opposed to the idea.

Spokesperson of JAP, Premchand, said, “We will wait for the Congress to decide on Pappu Yadav’s candidature as a GA nominee from Madhepura for two more days. If it doesn’t, JAP will begin campaigning and contest five seats of Khagaria, Madhepura, Araria, Jhanjharpur and Purnea. It will be the GA which would lose if JAP goes alone.”

However, Congress and RJD leaders said all issues would be resolved in a day or two. Bihar Congress president Madan Mohan Jha said the announcement would be made by March 16. Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav, RJD’s former MP and confidant of Lalu Prasad, said all was well and “loose ends will be fixed soon”.

First Published:
Mar 15, 2019 02:52 IST

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