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Press Trust of India  |  Patna 

The RJD and the today said they had worked out a formula for jointly contesting the three upcoming by-polls in

and acting state told reporters here the Rashtriya would field candidates for the Araria and the seats.

The will contest from the constituency.

The by-polls, necessitated by the death of the incumbents, will take place on March 11.

The last date for filing of nominations is February 20.

While the RJD held the Araria and Jehanabad seats, Bhabua was with the BJP.

The by-elections are the first major political event in the state after the July 2017 disintegration of the ruling comprising the JD(U), RJD and Congress. As the alliance collapsed, JD(U) joined hands with the BJP to form and lead a coalition ministry in

The RJD and Congress stayed together as the main opposition to the coalition ministry.

The electoral pact comes in the wake of discordant voices raised by some leaders of the two parties, signalling cracks in their partnership.

Yadav and Qadri rejected suggestions of strains in the alliance.

"There was no strain in our alliance at any stage, though such rumours were being floated by our adversaries. We will contest the by-polls jointly and the RJD will field its candidates in the Araria seat and the segment. The Congress will contest the Bhabhua Vidhan Sabha seat," Yadav told reporters.

Yadav, son of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, said the party has decided to field from Araria and Suday Yadav from Jahanabad.

Alam, who quit the JD(U) last week to join the RJD, is the son of Mohammad Taslimuddin, whose death necessitated the by-poll in the seat.

Suday Yadav is the son of Mundrika Yadav, after whose death the seat fell vacant.

Qadri said the Congress candidate for Bhabhua would be declared later.

"The Congress will help the RJD win both the seats emphatically and attain a handsome victory in Bhabhua with the support of our long-time ally," Qadri said.

The two leaders said the parties were committed to defeating "communal forces" represented by the BJP and took a dig at Nitish Kumar, saying the decision by his (United) to stay away from by-polls was tantamount to his having "conceded defeat".

Earlier this week, the RJD had indicated it was thinking of fielding its candidates in all the three seats where by-polls were due. The Congress had taken exception to that, saying it would contest from Bhabhua, where the party was the runner-up in the 2015 Assembly polls, even if the RJD insisted on fielding its own candidate from there.

The NDA, comprising JD(U), BJP, RLSP and HAM, is yet to declare its seat-sharing formula and candidates for the by-polls.

"Lalu (RJD's jailed national president) has been a valued ally since the UPA days. Together we shall defeat the communal forces represented by the BJP. But we are amazed to see the capitulation of Kumar before the BJP. So much for his claims of his party's mass base." Qadri said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 18:55 IST