The BJP has decided that all Union Ministers from Bihar - barring Giriraj Singh - will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from their old constituencies, sources said. This time, Mr Singh will stand from Begusarai instead of Nawada, which has gone to the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) as part of the seat-sharing arrangement in the state, they added.
In keeping with its seat-sharing formula in the state, the BJP has given 17 seats to the Janata Dal (United) - including its traditional constituencies of Gaya, Siwan and Katihar - while retaining an equal number for itself. However, the BJP has refused to part with Darbhanga, which Chief Minister Nitish Kumar wanted for his close aide, Sanjay Jha.
Sources said the Janata Dal (United) will contest from Nalanda, Purnea, Gopalganj, Siwan,Valmiki Nagar, Jhankharpur, Sitamarhi, Supaul, Kishanganj, Madhepura, Jehanabad, Aurangabad, Karakat, Munger, Gaya and Jehanabad, leaving Hajipur, Jamui, Vaishali, Samastipur, Khagaria and Nawada for the Ram Vilas Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party.
Meanwhile, parties in the opposition camp are also gearing up to announce their poll formula. Amid reports of frayed tempers in their midst, a Congress leader said that the grand alliance between the Congress, Lalu Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal, Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha and the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party will announce its candidates for 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state on Sunday.
"We held talks between top leaders of the Congress and alliance partners in New Delhi. Things are falling in place. We will announce our candidates on March 17," Bihar Congress Campaign Committee chairman Akhilesh Prasad Singh had told reporters on Thursday.
The general election is scheduled to be held from April 11 to May 19. Polling in Bihar will be conducted in seven phases.
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