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Seat-sharing talks underway, RJD begins campaign

Patna, March 15 (IANS) Following a green signal from Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad, nearly half a dozen likely candidates including former MP Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, have started campaigning even before the final seat-sharing formula of the opposition Grand Alliance has been announced, a senior party leader said.

“Laluji has instructed them to camp in their constituency and start campaigning without waiting for party symbol and final seat sharing,” he added.

Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Jagdanand Singh — both known for their closeness to the party chief — have launched their campaign for the Vaishali and Buxar Lok Sabha seats, respectively.

“After Lalu asked Raghuvansh Prasadji and Jagdanandji (former MP) to go to their constituencies, both reached out to their party workers and supporters.

“It is clear that they will contest as RJD candidates,” the party leader said. Both leaders belong to the powerful Rajput upper caste .

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad, who is in jail after being convicted in three fodder scam cases, will select seats and candidates for his party for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the party state president said

On March 9, state RJD chief Ramchander Purbe had said that Lalu Prasad would finalise candidates and seats for the Lok Sabha polls.

Three of the four sitting RJD MPs — Jai Prakash Yadav from Banka, Bulo Mandal from Bhagalpur and Sarfaraz Alam from Araria, have also started campaigning after the go ahead by Lalu Prasad.

According to RJD sources, Surendra Prasad Yadav and Hena Shahab, wife of jailed criminal-turned-politician Mohammad Shahabuddin, have also begun campaigning in Jehanabad and Siwan.

Last week Lalu Prasad was authorised by the party to select seats and party candidates for the Lok Sabha polls that begin on April 11.

Bihar will be voting in all the seven phases of the staggered process.

As per the seat-sharing formula of the Grand Alliance, which is likely to be announced on Sunday, the RJD was mostly likely to contest on 17 or 18 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats from Bihar.

The Congress will follow in at least 11 seats and the remaining will be given to small allies — Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), Vikasshil Insan Party (VIP) or even the Left.



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