Guj: Sharad faction to fight six-seven seats with auto as symbol

The Sharad Yadav-led faction of JD(U) will contest six-to-seven seats with the symbol ‘autorickshaw’, as they concluded the discussions on seat sharing with Congress.

While an announcement about the seat sharing arrangement is likely to made by Congress soon, sources said their nominees will contest mainly in tribal dominated constituencies where sitting MLA and Yadav faction president Chotubhai Vasava has considerable clout.

The Nitish Kumar-led party, which the Election Commission on Friday recognised as “real” JD(U) following a petition by Yadav faction, is contesting around 12 seats in the state and will fight against BJP, its alliance partner in Bihar.

It will be a show of strength by both factions as JD(U) has fielded candidates in tribal areas where Vasava, who voted in favour of Congress’ Ahmed Patel in Rajya Sabha elections ignoring Kumar’s directions, has a following. Kumar and Yadav had parted ways over the former’s decision to join hands with BJP in July.

While Yadav faction does not see any impact of Kumar’s candidates in the fray, it could lead to splitting of votes in the socialist bloc.

Sources said Congress has also reached an understanding with Sharad Pawar-led NCP and they would get a couple of seats. Congress is still upset with NCP over its MLA voting against Patel and may not accede to all its demands.

Senior Congress leaders and Vasava were holding discussions for the past several days. “Auto-rickshaw is our symbol. We will not fight on Congress symbol…We had our talks with Congress. Congress will now announce the seat sharing arrangements,” Yadav told reporters.

Yadav said the BJP will bite the dust in Gujarat and the party is trying to mislead people using reports by credit agencies like Moody’s which does not understand the pains of people.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Nov 19, 2017)

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