PATNA: Bihar’s both leading regional parties- Lalu Prasad-led
and CM Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) on Friday gird up their loins to contest the forthcoming
in other states, soon after the Election Commission announced schedule for assembly polls in five states namely
and West Bengal.
While the RJD has, as of now, decided to contest the polls in Assam, West Bengal and Kerala either alone or in alliance with some other parties; the Bihar’s ruling JD(U) has decided to go solo in Assam and West Bengal.
Assembly polls will be held for 140 seats in Kerala, 126 seats in Assam and 294 seats in West Bengal.
Hours after the EC announced the poll schedule, Lalu’s heir and leader of opposition in Bihar assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav on Friday flew to Guwahati to find out possibilities of alliance with some regional parties of the northeast state. Soon after landing at Guwahati airport, Tejashwi drove to a local hotel and held a series of parleys with leaders of some regional parties.
“Tejashwi Ji has arrived in Guwahati. He will hold another round of talks with leaders of some political parties also on Saturday before taking a decision on contesting the assembly polls in Assam,” RJD’s national general secretary Shyam Rajak, who himself is camping in Guwahati for the last two days, told TOI over phone.
To a question, Rajak said, “As of now, I can’t say whether the RJD will contest the Assam polls solo or in alliance with regional parties or Congress. Right now, nothing is final.” Rajak also declined to divulge the number of seats the RJD is willing to contest in Assam. Besides Rajak, senior RJD leader and former Bihar minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui too is camping in Guwahati for the last two days to search out allies.
“After Guwahati, we will go to Kolkata to discuss poll related issues with political parties active in West Bengal,” Rajak told TOI.
“Our party has decided to contest assembly polls in Assam, Kerala and West Bengal with an aim to check the BJP. In West Bengal, the RJD wants an alliance with the CM Mamata Banerjee-led
(TMC). The RJD leadership has sought a few assembly seats from the TMC. If the TMC fails to keep us in alliance, the party will take its own decision. But we will not do any such thing which benefits the BJP,” RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari told TOI.
JD(U) has decided to contest the assembly polls in Assam and West Bengal. “As of now, the party leadership has decided to go solo in both the states,” said a JD(U) leader.
“In West Bengal, the state unit of JD(U) has been asked to identify the assembly seats from where the party will contest. The JD(U) national secretary Sanjay Verma has been sent to Assam to assess the situation. Final decision about the number of seats in both the states will be taken by the party’s top leadership,” JD(U) national secretary Rabindra Prasad Singh told TOI on Friday.
Contacted over phone, JD(U)’s West Bengal unit president Ashoke Das said he was in Patna for the last three days. “During my Patna stay, I held a series of talks with the JD(U) chief RCP Singh and other senior leaders over the assembly polls. We have decided to contest the assembly polls solo in all 23 district of West Bengal,” Das told TOI.
JD(U) Assam unit convener Samsul Alam said the party would contest the assembly polls solo, but the number of seats were yet to be finalized.