CPI leader D. Raja to meet Lalu Prasad in jail

Eyeing the Begusarai Lok Sabha seat for former JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar, Communist Party of India leader D. Raja will be meeting Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad in a Ranchi jail on January 19.

“I am going to call on him, it is a courtesy visit. Of course, when we meet we can discuss some national- level issues. We all have to fight together to oust the BJP and in this perspective we will discuss Bihar too,” Mr. Raja told The Hindu.

Bihar has 40 Lok Sabha seats. The CPI will be part of the Congress-RJD mahagatbandhan. The other members of the alliance include former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav and Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the Congress won two seats,the RJD four and Mr. Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) got three seats.

It is speculated that RJD wants to contest in 20 constituencies. The Congress would get 10, the HAM and the RLSP 4 each, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Left would get one seat each. Veteran socialist leader Sharad Yadav might field his son on the RJD symbol from Madhepura, sources claimed.

In 2014, the Left parties fought in alliance with JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar, who had walked out of the NDA. The RJD, the Congress and NCP fought together.

The CPI leadership, as per an internal survey, found that the party has a good presence in Begusarai, Khagaria, Madhubani, Mothari, Gaya and Banka. It remains to be seen if the mahagatbandhan will concede Begusarai to the CPI or not. Though there is support among the CPI cadres for Kanhaiya Kumar’s candidature, it has not yet been finalised by the party.

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