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Mahagathbandhan announces LS seat-sharing for Bihar, RJD to contest 26, Cong 9

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Patna, Mar 29 (PTI) The Mahagathbandhan, the opposition coalition in Bihar, on Friday announced that the RJD, its largest constituent, will contest 26, out of the state’s 40 Lok Sabha seats.

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The Congress will contest nine seats, followed by CPI(ML) 3 and CPI and CPI(M) one each.

As per the announcement, the Congress has been made to give up the Purnea Lok Sabha seat, which recent entrant Pappu Yadav, husband of Rajya Sabha MP Ranjeet Ranjan, was hoping to contest, claiming that he had received assurance of Congress ticket from Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi.

The seat will be contested by RJD, which recently gave the party ticket to JD(U) turncoat Bima Bharti, but stopped short announcing it formally.

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The Mahagathbandhan's seat-sharing announcement comes a day after the filing of nomination papers for the first phase of Lok Sabha polls was over.

The RJD has fielded its candidates in all four seats going to polls in the first phase, in what has been resented by allies as a "unilateral move".

The Mahagathbandhan press conference here was scheduled to be addressed by RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, who, however, remained conspicuous by his absence.

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RJD national spokesman and Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha, who spoke at the press conference, said names of candidates would be announced soon in seats where the same has not been done already.

Notably, CPI and CPI(M) have already announced their candidates for Begusarai and Khagaria respectively.

Jha, who spoke in the presence of state Congress president Akhilesh Prasad Singh and other allies, maintained, "We have arrived at a unanimous decision and we will win". PTI PKD NAC BDC

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