After SP-BSP snub in UP, Congress worries about Bihar seat share

congress-leaders-meeting (File) The leaders of the Bihar Mahagathbandhan after a meeting in Delhi | Arvind Jain

The Congress is hoping that it would get a "respectable" share of seats in Bihar in the Lok Sabha polls from its allies and would not meet the same fate it did in Uttar Pradesh where it was dumped by the SP and the BSP, both of which have stitched together an alliance.

Conceding that the RJD is the "big brother" in the state, Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee's campaign panel chief Akhilesh Prasad Singh said on Tuesday that Congress president Rahul Gandhi, however, was "the face of anti-NDA forces" in the country.

"There is no problem. Discussions are taking place and things will be sorted out amicably," Akhilesh Prasad, a Rajya Sabha member, said in Lakhisarai.

The NDA has been claiming that the Bihar 'grand alliance', which comprises nearly half a dozen parties, was not coming out with its seat-sharing formula as the constituents of the loosely-knit formation were unable to reach a consensus on the issue.

The constituents of the grand alliance include RJD, Congress, Hindustani Awam Morcha, RLSP, Sharad Yadav's Loktantrik Janata Dal and Left parties.

"We will get respectable share in Bihar. What happened in Uttar Pradesh will not be repeated here. We respect the RJD as the big brother of the grand alliance in Bihar. Nobody, however, denies that Congress president Rahul Gandhi is the face of anti-NDA forces at the national level," Akhilesh Prasad said.

Once-arch rivals, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party on January 12 announced their tie-up in Uttar Pradesh for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, sharing 38 seats each and keeping the Congress out of the alliance. Akhilesh Prasad was in Lakhisarai to attend a "Mahagathbandhan Milan" programme organised by local RJD leader Vijay Samrat.

He said the Congress was positive about fielding controversial MLA Anant Singh from Munger Lok Sabha seat, saying "no court has convicted him in any of the criminal cases he has been named in".

Anant, a third-term MLA, is known for his strong-arm style of politics and is accused in several criminal cases.

An independent MLA from Mokama, which falls under Munger Lok Sabha constituency, Anant Singh had last week held a massive roadshow and claimed that all his opponents will end up losing their deposits.

His entry into the grand alliance has met with resistance from RJD supremo Lalu Prasad's sons Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav as both of them have said "entry of bad elements will send across a bad message".

Formerly associated with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U), Anant Singh had quit the party ahead of the 2015 assembly polls since he was opposed to the party tying up with the RJD.