Bihar seat-sharing: JD(U) large pie demand upsets BJP

Last Updated 31 December 2019, 02:16 IST

The ruling Janata Dal (United)'s stand that the ensuing Assembly polls in Bihar in 2020 won’t be contested on a 50:50 formula, as mooted during Lok Sabha polls, has hugely upset the alliance partner BJP.

To rub salt on the BJP wounds, JD(U) national vice president Prashant Kishor on Monday asserted that “it’s a JD (U) government, headed by Nitish Kumar, which is running in Bihar, and the BJP is just an alliance partner.”

The poll strategist-cum-key Nitish aide added that the JD(U) had 70 MLAs while the BJP had around 50 legislators.

“So the formula of contesting Assembly polls on 50:50 basis is out of question,” added Kishor, thereby ruffling many a feather in the BJP camp.

Kishor, however, suggested that the talks on the seat-sharing formula could be done in the ratio of 1.4:1.

To buttress his point, he cited the 2010 Assembly polls formula where the JD(U) contested 141 seats and BJP 102. Even the current position of the two parties in the Assembly suggests 1.4:1 ratio, the JD(U) leader added.

It’s worth mentioning here that the BJP and the JD (U) contested 2019 Lok Sabha elections together with each party fielding 17 candidates each, while leaving the rest six seats for the LJP.

While the BJP and the LJP won all the 17 and six seats it contested, the JD (U) won 16 out of 17 constituencies, thereby taking the NDA toll to 39 in Bihar which sends 40 MPs to the Lok Sabha.

However, ever since the BJP has shown poor performance in neighbouring Jharkhand, the JD(U) has found an excuse to mount pressure on the saffron party.

But this has not gone down well with the BJP.

“What is the locus standi of PK? The JD(U) should clarify whether PK’s statement is the official stand of the party,” said Bihar BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal.

“It’s for the top leadership of the two parties to sit together and thrash out seat-sharing pact between the BJP and the JD(U),” the state BJP chief added.

Poll Vault

2010 Assembly polls:

The JD(U) contested 141 seats while the BJP 102. The JD(U) won 115, while the BJP triumphed in 91. Together they won 206 seats in the 243-member House.

2015 Assembly polls

The JD (U) and the RJD contested 101 seats each while Congress on 41 seats.

The RJD won 80, JD(U) 71, while Congress 27.

Together, the Mahagatbandhan won 178 seats. The Opposition BJP could scrape through in 53 seats.

2019 Lok Sabha polls:

The BJP and the JD(U) contested 17 parliamentary seats each, leaving the rest six seats for the LJP.

While the BJP and LJP won 17 and six seats respectively, the JD(U) won 16 out of 17 seats it contested.

Together, the NDA won 39 out of 40 LS seats in Bihar.

(Published 30 December 2019, 13:27 IST)

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