It’s the age of alliances and coalition governments and no one knows it better than the Rahul Gandhi led Congress. After the grand failure of Congress’ attempts to enter the UP Mahagathbandhan, the party was happy about the fact that they had managed to form one in Bihar with Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal. However, with the poll schedule announced on Sunday, all is not well with the alliance made to defeat BJP. There has been no decision on seat sharing between the parties involved and everyone seems to be concerned about showing their strength to get more seats.
The seats haven’t been decided between Congress and RJD and meanwhile the smaller parties of the coalition are also getting restless. Congress in its unrealistic ambition has been demanding 16 seats out of the total 40 seats in Bihar, while RJD is unwilling to give more than 10-12 seats. The RJD wants to keep 20-22 seats for itself and allot the rest to its allies. The left has been demanding at least 10 seats but seeing as though it’s unlikely, they have made up their mind to “ekla chalo” (walk alone).
Now, an angry Lalu has given the grand old party an ultimatum for the coordination of the seats and the last round of talks within 3-4 days. He asked the Congress to respect the regional parties and speak in terms of their position in the state. Congress has been demanding a claim on RJD’s strongest seats. In such majorly the constituencies of Darbhanga, Munger, Jehanabad, Motihari, Shivar, Madhepura, Purnia and Nawada are included. RJD believes that all the above seats have been their traditional bastions and it is unfair to their legacy to give these seats to other parties. Negotiations regarding this have been going on since the past 2 and a half months, but without avail. Moreover, Lalu has also been under a lot of pressure from the smaller members of the grand alliance for allocation of the seat sharing.
Now Lalu has given a final ultimate which could make or break congress’ alliance in the state. As a retort, Congress leader Sadanand Singh stated that Rahul Gandhi is a sensible leader guiding Congress on the correct path. He went on to say that Congress isn’t dependent on anyone, UP being a prime example. Congress is fighting alone since the seat sharing didn’t work out there.
After the major fiasco they had in Delhi wherein for some reason they refused to form an alliance with AAP along with the refusal by Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav to give them more than 2 seats in the “supposed alliance”, they hardly have any hope to secure any substantial seats in the two states. The grand old party has lost its footing in West Bengal as well when CPI (M) announced the candidates for the very two seats which Congress was fighting over. Interestingly, those 2 seats happen to currently belong to CPI (M) only.
All in all, a coalition government with Bihar is the last resort for the grand old party but they might again lose because of their sense of entitlement. In all its attempts at alliances, Congress seems to be in a slumber, overestimating its hold over the country. Hopefully after losing the alliance with Bihar, Congress will wake up to realise how insignificant Rahul Gandhi has rendered them.