Stinging from the ignominious blow meted out by its Bihar allies – RJD and LJP, the Congress on Wednesday struck a seat sharing deal with the JMM in Jharkhand and left RJD boss Lalu Prasad with only two seats his party won during the 2004 elections.
A day after RJD and LJP stitched together a seat sharing pact in Bihar and left the UPA principal with a mere three seats, the Congress returned the favour with help from the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha that will contest five constituencies while the Congress would contest seven of the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.
“We have finalised the seat sharing agreement. Congress will contest 7 and JMM 5. We have left two seats for RJD,” the AICC in-charge for Jharkhand K Keshav Rao was quoted as saying by correspondents.
The Congress move is likely to stoke a greater feud with the RJD which was the party’s key ally until less than 48 hours ago when he refused to let the Congress have its way and claim six Lok Sabha seats it sought in Bihar.
Despite being portrayed as a betrayal Lalu Prasad’s move was only natural as he had won 22 Lok Sabha segments in Bihar in 2004 and he had already surrendered three seats to the LJP which had made it clear that it could walk out of the alliance if its demands of a minimum 12 seats were not met.
A seasoned politician, Lalu’s move could definitely not have been casual and is likely to be a part of a greater maneuver that could become evident anytime between now and May 16 when results for the Lok Sabha elections are declared.