Nitish looking for options as Bihar NDA in disarray over seat sharing
Despite Nitish Kumar announcing that JD(U) and BJP have reached an understanding on seat-sharing, sources say serious problems remain which may prompt Nitish to explore other alliance possibilities
Although Nitish Kumar announced at the meeting of his party’s national executive that his party Janata Dal (United)’s alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party will continue and that they have already decided about the seats distribution for the coming Lok Sabha elections, the Bihar Chief Minister seems to still be worried about the number of seats his party might get. Nitish was demanding 25 of Bihar’s 40 Lok Sabha seats for JD(U), but after the discussion both sides reportedly agreed on 16 seats each; with four of the remaining eight seats going to Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party, two seats to Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, and the remaining two seats to independent candidates.
In the previous Lok Sabha election in 2014, Nitish had fought on all seats, leaving just a few to his the partner, Communist Party of India. The BJP gave seven out of 40 seats to Paswan and three seats to Kushwaha, fighting on 31. Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal fought in alliance with the Congress party. BJP went on to win 22 seats, Paswan six and Kushwaha three, making a combined NDA strength of 31. Nitish was left had won just two seats.
Ram Vilas Paswan and Upendra Kushwaha are also not in a mood to agree to the formula of four and two seats respectively. Kushwaha’s RLSP challenged BJP to get rid of Nitish ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and has hinted at leaving the alliance
Then came the assembly election in 2015, when Nitish fighting along with Lalu Prasad Yadav and Congress romped home with a two-thirds majority. Now Nitish Babu is in the opposite camp with BJP, but is in no position to put pressure on BJP for more seats. Ram Vilas Paswan and Upendra Kushwaha are also not in a mood to agree to the formula of four and two seats respectively. Kushwaha’s RLSP challenged BJP to get rid of Nitish ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and has hinted at leaving the alliance.
Nitish is still trying to convince BJP President Amit Shah for more seats. However, according to sources, serious problems remain with seat sharing, which may even prompt Nitish to explore other alliance possibilities.
Inputs by NH Web Desk