After a long huddle at BJP President JP Nadda’s residence, BJP’s Bihar prabhari Bhupendra Yadav said that the Bharatiya Janata Party, Janata Dal (United) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) will fight the Bihar assembly polls together next month. However, it is learnt that while the BJP and JDU have reached a consensus, the LJP is still not on board.
“Look, we don’t have any problems with the BJP. We have fought under the leadership of Narendra Modi. But as far as the seat-sharing agreement is concerned, it hasn’t moved ahead. The final call will be taken by Chirag Paswan,” LJP’s National Spokesperson Sanjay Saraf told IANS.
Asked about their precise demands, Saraf told IANS that the LJP wants 42 seats. Saraf warned, “If our demands are not met, we are even ready to fight on 143 seats on our own in Bihar.”
Bihar has 243 seats. Sources say, the Bihar Unit has pressed the BJP to propose that the JDU and the BJP fight on an equal number of seats, between 105 to 110 each. The JDU is believed to have agreed to the idea with a request for at least an additional extra seat for symbolic purposes.
However, the BJP seems to have emphasised upon fighting on equal numbers of seats citing recent opinion polls suggesting anti-Nitish, pro-Modi emotions.
While the JDU and the BJP seems to have more or less sorted their seat-sharing agreement, if they stick to these numbers, as sources indicate, it leaves barely 23-33 seats that can be distributed between the LJP and the Hindustani Awam Morcha(Secular).
With the LJP refusing to budge, this negotiation is far from being over.
When pressed, BJP’s Bihar in-charge Bhupendra Yadav assured reporters, “BJP President JP Nadda has given responsibility to few leaders who will talk to the LJP over the next two days. But the BJP, the JDU, the LJP and Jitan Ram Manjhi will fight the Bihar election together.”
Earlier today, former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis was appointed the BJP’s Bihar poll ‘prabhari’. He, too, was present in today’s meeting over seat-sharing at JP Nadda’s residence which was also attended by Amit Shah and Sushil Modi. Like Yadav, Fadnavis also assured of a ‘joint fight’ in Bihar.
But with the number of seats being a constant, it remains to be seen whether the BJP-JDU sacrifice to accommodate the LJP which seems to be stubborn about its demands, or the LJP makes a climb down. In either case, one thing is for sure: the NDA’s seat-sharing for Bihar has not been finalised yet.