Shah, Nitish to hold ‘chai pe charcha’ next week

Shah, Nitish to hold ‘chai pe charcha’ next week

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Amid growing unease, BJP president Amit Shah is likely to meet JD(U) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during his visit to the state on Thursday.

“The two national presidents of their respective parties are likely to iron out differences when they hold ‘chai pe charcha’ next week. Though the agenda of their talks have not been made public, most probably it could veer around the seat-sharing talks for the 40 Lok Sabha (LS) constituencies in Bihar,” said a senior BJP leader.

Another senior JD(U) MP and a key Nitish aide, R C P Singh, too, said that Shah and Nitish would meet over tea on July 12. “Obviously, politics would be discussed when two top leaders would meet on Thursday next,” Singh said.

Sources in the NDA said that the bone of contention between the two ruling alliance partners has been the JD(U)’s consistent demand for a respectable amount of Lok Sabha seats in 2019.

The JD(U) wants at least 16 out of the 40 LS seats in Bihar. However, the BJP has contended that it won’t give up any of the 31 seats it won (BJP: 22, LJP:6, RLSP: 3) in 2014.

The JD (U) has cited the 2009 arrangement when it contested 25 seats while leaving the remaining 15 seats for the BJP. Nitish’s party has been informally told by the saffron camp that 2019 would be quite different from 2009. Rather he has been given the statistics of 2014 LS polls when the JD(U) contested in Bihar on its own and won merely two seats.

Nitish, who is leaving for New Delhi on Saturday to attend the party national executive meeting, is likely to meet his trusted friend in the BJP, Arun Jaitley, on Sunday before holding parleys with Shah next week.

Meanwhile, LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan on Friday asserted that NDA was united and there was no resentment on any issue.

“Jab dil mil gaya hai, toh seat bhi mil jayega. (When hearts have met, seat adjustment too will take place),” the Union minister said.


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