The Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninst) is keen on fielding candidates in at least six seats in Bihar in the next Lok Sabha polls, including Yadav-dominated Patliputra seat, which was unsuccessfully contested by RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his daughter Misa Bharti in the past.
CPI-ML is an important component of the combined Left force in Bihar and enjoys considerable amount of grassroot support particularly in central part of the state.
"In the previous Lok Sabha polls we had contested 23 seats. Our Left partners CPI and CPI(M) had contested the elections in alliance with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U). This time things are different and the Left Front will fight unitedly. So we have decided to scale down and settle for about six to eight seats", CPI(ML) state secretary Kunal told PTI.
"Among the seats which we have identified for our party are Ara, Karakat, Jehanabad and Pataliputra in central Bihar and Siwan and Valmiki Nagar in north Bihar. We have expressed our desire to fight these states with our Left partners though a formal discussion with RJD is yet to take place", he said.
Although not a part of the "Mahagathbandhan" which comprises RJD, Congress and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), the Left Front is expected to have a pre-poll understanding with the alliance in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls to take on the NDA having BJP and JD(U) together.
Comprising a large part of rural Patna, Pataliputra seat was carved out of old Patna constituency after delimitation of 2008 and in the Lok Sabha polls held the following year RJD supremo Lalu Prasad lost it to former confidant Ranjan Yadav, who was the JD(U) nominee.
Five years later, Misa Bharti made an unsuccessful debut as she was defeated by yet another former aide of Prasad - Ram Kripal Yadav who won the seat riding the Narendra Modi wave and ended up getting a ministerial berth.
While Prasad stands disqualified from contesting elections following his conviction in a number of fodder scam cases, Bharti has got elected to the Rajya Sabha.
With Yadavs constituting a big chunk of voters in Pataliputra, the seat has been a favourite constituency for the RJD.
Asked about the RJD's stand with respect to Pataliputra in the next parliamentary polls, party spokesman Mrityunjay Tiwari said, "Decisions on seat-sharing would be taken by the top leaders of the partner parties at an appropriate time".
He, however, said Pataliputra has always been a "swabhabik" (natural) seat for the RJD.
Kunal, however, said, "It is not without reason that we are thinking of fielding our candidate from Pataliputra. We have a very strong presence in two out of six assembly segments there - Paliganj and Masaurhi".
"We would insist that any understanding with non-Left parties must be based on a respectable share for the Left Front", Kunal said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)