Patna: A multi-party Grand Alliance took shape here ahead of the Bihar assembly polls on Saturday, notwithstanding a minor fissure, with Rashtriya Janata Dals Tejashwi Yadav being backed unanimously as the face of the coalition and the party ending up with a lions share of the seats.
Announcing the seat-sharing formula in presence of leaders of Congress, CPI(ML), CPI and CPI(M), Yadav said his party will accommodate old alliance partner Vikashheel Insaan Party (VIP) and JMM its ally in adjoining Jharkhand from its quota of 144 seats in the 243-strong assembly.
Meanwhile disgruntled VIP President Mukesh Sahni,a Bollywood set designer-turned-politician announced soon after the press conference that he was quitting the grand alliance since he did not get "a respectable offer".
"What is happening with us right now is somewhere backstabbing. I am going out of this alliance and will address media tomorrow" said Sahni. This means that the disjointed formation, will continue to be in disarray.
Among other allies, Congress has been given 70 seats, nearly twice as many as it had contested in the 2015 assembly polls in alliance with the RJD and Chief Minister Nitish Kumars JD(U).
The Congress will also be fielding its candidate in Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha seat where by-poll will be held on November 07.
Among the Left parties, the CPI(ML) has been given 19 seats, followed by CPI (six) and CPI(M).
Yadav vowed to dislodge the government headed by Nitish Kumar, whom Congress leader Avinash Pandey in his address accused of "apharan" (hijacking) of the mandate in the previous elections.
The JD(U) chief had fought 2015 elections opposing the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi but ended up re- aligning with the saffron party, Pandey said.
Meanwhile BJP Bihar unit chief Sanjay Jaiswal on Friday had said that his party is optimistic about a seat-sharing formula among NDA allies in the next two days and the delay was caused by LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan's ill-health.
Jaiswal had claimed that all alliance partners are united under the NDA umbrella and would jointly contest the Bihar Assembly elections.
His comments came amid the furore over the number of seats offered to Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party (LJP). Its chief and Paswan's son Chirag Paswan has called a meeting of the party's parliamentary board on Saturday to decide whether to go solo or remain with the NDA for the Assembly polls.
According to party sources, the LJP has been demanding 36 Assembly and two MLC seats in the state. However, the Janata Dal-United is not keen to give more than 20 seats to the LJP.
Last month, during a parliamentary board meeting, the LJP had asked its leaders to prepare a list of candidates for 143 of the 243 seats going to the polls.
The LJP has been critical of the Nitish Kumar government in the state, including its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, migrant workers and flood issues.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)