The Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Mahagatbandhan (grand alliance) on Friday announced its seat-sharing arrangement in Bihar for the Lok Sabha polls, on the last day of filing nomination papers for the first phase of polling in the state, reported ANI.

Bihar has 40 Lok Sabha seats for which polling will take place in seven phases between April 19 and June 1.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal will contest 26 seats in the state: Purnia, Aurangabad, Gaya, Jamui, Nawada, Saran, Patliputra, Buxar, Ujjiyarpur, Jehanabad, Darbhanga, Banka, Araria, Munger, Sitamarhi, Jhanjharpur, Madhubani, Siwan, Seohar, Vaishali, Hajipur, Supaul, Valmikinagar, East Champaran, Madhepura and Gopalganj.

The Congress will contest the nine seats of Kishanganj, Katihar, Samastipur, Patna Sahib, Sasaram, West Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur and Maharajganj.

The Mahagatbandhan alliance also includes Left parties that will be contesting from five seats. The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) will contest the three seats of Bhojpur (Ara), Nalanda and Karakat, while the Communist of Party of India will contest the Begusarai seat and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) will contest the Khagaria seat.

On March 18, the Bharatiya Janata Party announced that it will contest 17 out of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar and the Janata Dal (United), its biggest ally in the state, will fight from 16 seats.

In January, the Janata Dal (United), led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, returned to an alliance with the BJP.

On January 28, Kumar had resigned from the chief minister’s post and quit the Mahagatbandhan alliance. He took oath as Bihar’s chief minister once again, for the ninth time, just hours later with the support of the BJP.

The Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) led by Chirag Paswan will fight from five seats while the Hindustani Awam Morcha and the Rashtriya Lok Morcha will contest one seat each as part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

In 2019, the National Democratic Alliance won 39 out of the state’s 40 Lok Sabha seats. The BJP won all the 17 seats that it contested from while the Janata Dal (United) won 16 seats.