The Congress is likely to contest on 10 to 12 seats in Bihar and Lalu Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal will fight on 20 as part of the grand alliance or Mahagathbandhan for the Lok Sabha elections that are due by May, sources have said.
The rest of the 40 seats will be given to former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) led by Jitan Ram Manjhi and the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) led by Mukesh Sahni, say sources.
Sources say that both the RJD and the Congress want to keep the Left parties in the Grand Alliance in view of their pockets of influence in over a dozen districts of Bihar but are not willing to give them more than 3-4 seats.
"RJD Leader Tejaswi Yadav had met Congress President Rahul Gandhi last week in Delhi where a broad understanding was arrived at regarding the seat sharing formula between the parties. Talks with other constituents are at the final stage" a senior Congress leader told NDTV on the condition of anonymity.
"A decision on the seat sharing formula in Jharkhand will be arrived at on March 2 when the Congress President Rahul Gandhi visits the state capital for a rally," added the senior Congress leader.
In the 2014 general elections, the RJD won only four seats and the Congress two. The NCP won one seat. The JD-U, which contested separately, also won only two seats. The BJP-led NDA won 31 seats, with the BJP tally being 22.
The Congress, which had been in talks with regional parties for an alliance against the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections, was snubbed by Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh. In West Bengal and Delhi, the party has said that it would go solo. As of now, Bihar is the only where the proposed grand alliance seems to be taking shape.
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