In a significant political development, the ruling NDA in Bihar is reported to have arrived at the seat-sharing agreement for the next LS elections well much in advance to take on the Opposition.
However, the agreement is bound to cause revolt in the NDA given the way the BJP has tried to cut chief minister Nitish Kumar down to size, and ignored the genuine claims of its other two key allies, the LJP and the RLSP led by Ram Vilas Paswan and Upendra Kushwaha respectively.
As per the report, under the new seat-sharing arrangement, the BJP will keep the lion’s share of 20 seats while the remaining 20 seats will be shared among its others four allies depending upon their political strength. Reports said of the 20 seats spared for BJP allies, 12 will go to Kumar’s JD-U, five to LJP, two to the RLSP and one to Rashtriya Samata Party which Jehanabad MP Arun Kumar represents.
The “draft” of the seatsharing arrangement, however, is bound to create troubles for the BJP as Kumar and Kushwaha have expressed their surging political ambitions too many times.
Only recently, the JD-U demanded that it be treated as “Big Brother” in matter of seat-sharing. That meant the party should be given more seats than the BJP or in worst case, the division of seats must be equal between the BJP and JD-U.
In its support, the JD-U cited the seat-sharing formula adopted during the 2009 LS polls when the JD-U-BJP had contested on 25:15 seats respectively.
Instead, the new arrangement seems to be clipping the wings of chief minister Kumar who returned to the BJP camp last year with much fanfare. The JD-U refused to comment over the issue saying it was not formally aware of it. “I’m away in Chennai and just unaware of the seat-distribution formula. Can’t comment on imaginations,” said JD-U general secretary KC Tyagi.
Kushwaha, on the other hand, has already dropped ample hints about dumping the NDA in the event of not getting the “respectable” treatment in seat-sharing arrangement.
Last week, he even talked of unity between the Yadavs and the Kushwahas. The RLSP which won all the three seats allotted under the seat-sharing arrangement in the last elections had been seeking for more seats; instead its number of seats was curtailed.
Kushwaha has also been opposing the BJP’s move to spare too many seats for the D-U and demanding that he, instead of Kumar, be projected as the chief ministerial candidate for Bihar claiming he enjoys better support base than the latter.