Lalu Yadav's RJD will contest half of Bihar's 40 seats in next month's national election and four other allies will share the rest, the opposition alliance announced on Friday. The Congress will contest nine seats.
Sharad Yadav, a former leader of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United, will contest on the RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal) symbol and merge his new party Loktantrik Janata Dal with it after the election.
The Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) of Upendra Kushwaha, another former BJP ally who crossed over in December, will contest five seats and the Vikasheel Insan Party (VIP) will field candidates on three seats.
Former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) has been given three seats.
Top leaders like RJD's Tejashwi Yadav - Lalu Yadav's son - Upendra Kushwaha, Sharad Yadav and Jitan Manjhi were conspicuously missing in the press conference.
The seat sharing arrangement clearly hints of Lalu Yadav's involvement in fine tuning the alliance. By conceding more seats to allies, sources say the RJD has acknowledged that unless they co-operate with more castes than just his traditional vote bank of Muslim Yadavs, RJD can't give a tough fight to the NDA in Bihar.
After the seat sharing announcement, several NDA leaders admitted that somewhere by being generous to alliance partners whose main base is among backward castes and Dalits, Lalu Yadav is trying to repeat 2015 when he virtually converted the elections into a battle between the upper castes led by the BJP versus the backward castes led by Nitish Kumar.
Bihar will vote on the first day of seven-phase polling on April 11.
The opposition alliance tackled tough seat negotiations with smaller parties stepping up their demands.
The ruling JDU and BJP had announced their seat sharing deal way back in December.
Both parties will contest 17 seats while Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party will contest six seats.