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Seat-Sharing Deal In INDIA Bloc Will Take Time, Says RJD Supremo Lalu Yadav

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NEW DELHI: Former Bihar Chief Minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav on Wednesday said that the process of reaching an agreement on seat-sharing within the opposition INDIA bloc is a time-consuming task. He also dispelled rumours of a discord with Janata Dal-United president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Speaking to reporters, Lalu stated, “Seat sharing does not happen so quickly in an alliance… it will take time.”



Lalu Declines Ayodhya’s Ram Temple Invite

Simultaneously, the veteran Bihar politician declined an invitation to attend the Ram Temple Pran Pratistha ceremony scheduled for January 22 in Ayodhya. Clarifying his decision, Lalu told reporters, “I will not go to Ayodhya to attend the Pran Pratishtha ceremony of the Ram Temple.” Lalu further said that he would go to Ayodhya for a ‘darshan’ of Ram Lalla. He also said that he would write a letter to Ram Temple Trust member Champat Rai, explaining the reason for not coming to attend the ceremony. 

INDIA Allies Grapple With Seat-Sharing Consensus

Despite numerous rounds of discussions, INDIA allies continue to grapple with the challenge of reaching a consensus on seat-sharing for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The ongoing struggle further intensified with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar declining the offer to become the convener of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA).

Growing Discord Within INDIA Bloc

The Janata Dal (United) has expressed disappointment over the bloc’s failure to finalize seat-sharing arrangements and strategize for the upcoming parliamentary polls. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge emerged as the consensus chairperson, but West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee opposed Nitish Kumar’s candidature as convener.

Seat-sharing talks in Bihar among the ruling coalition members faced hurdles over differences in seat adjustment and allotment. JD(U), Congress, and the Left parties, particularly CPI-ML (Liberation), played hardball during the negotiations.

Kumar’s Strategic Move: Refusal To Become Convener Raises Stakes

Despite being offered the post, JD(U) chief Kumar declined to become the convener of INDIA, reinforcing his commitment to not taking up any post in the coalition. This strategic move by Kumar keeps opposition parties guessing about his next steps, adding complexity to the ongoing political dynamics.

Kumar’s refusal to become convener is anticipated to elevate his stature in Bihar politics. As a key figure in the state’s triangular politics, involving the RJD, BJP, and JD(U), Kumar’s decision provides him with multiple strategic options. The upcoming weeks are deemed crucial in Bihar politics, with all parties striving to align their equations effectively, according to political analysts.

Interestingly, the two key allies – RJD and the JDU – who are part of the Opposition INDIA bloc have blamed the BJP for “spreading misinformation” through the media.

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