Bihar seat-sharing: RLSP seeks Modi's intervention

Upendra Kushwaha

Union Minister and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha has sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the issue of seat-sharing in Bihar for the Lok Sabha elections next year.

Upset with the BJP's offer of two seats to his party, Kushwaha has requested Modi to spare some time to discuss the issue with him till November 30, days after he gave an ultimatum to the BJP for finalising the seat-sharing formula by the end of this month.

The RLSP wants at least five seats in Bihar to contest the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 as National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partner.

“I have requested for an appointment with the Prime Minister to discuss political circumstances within NDA in Bihar," Kushwaha tweeted.

A senior leader of the party said that the RLSP chief will announce his party's decision on whether to contest Lok Sabha elections next year as an NDA partner or not on December 6 in Bihar.

The party is scheduled to hold a two-day 'Chintan Shivir' at Valmiki Nagar in West Champaran district of Bihar from December 5.

“During the Chintan Shivir, the issue will be discussed with the party leaders and workers. The party chief (Kushwaha) will announce the party's decision at a public meeting on December 6,” the RLSP leader said.

Kushwaha had earlier sought time from BJP president Amit Shah to discuss the issue. However, Shah did not oblige him.

According to sources, the BJP leadership has taken serious exception to his meeting with the Lalu Yadav's son and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav on the day Shah announced 50:50 seat-sharing formula between the BJP and Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United (JD-U) last month.

The BJP leadership has also conveyed to Kushwaha that not more than two seats could be shared with his party in Bihar for the Lok Sabha elections next year, maintaining that each of the NDA partners has to make adjustments in view of “a new ally (JD-U)” joining the NDA fold.

Giving a clear indication of emerging realignment of political forces in Bihar, Kushwaha recently met former JD-U president Sharad Yadav who is trying to bring Opposition parties on a common platform to take on the NDA in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

With Kushwaha frequently raking up the issue of seat-sharing in Bihar and criticising the Bihar Chief Minister (Nitish Kumar), Ram Vilas Paswan's son and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Chirag Paswan recently said the RLSP chief was applying “pressure tactics” to clinch the deal in his favour.

As the tussle within the NDA over seat sharing in Bihar continues, there are talks in the political circles about a plan for the creation of a new political outfit with the merger of Kushwaha's RLSP with the Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD), floated under the patronage of Sharad Yadav.

 

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Bihar seat-sharing: RLSP seeks Modi's intervention

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