A day after BJP president JP Nadda claimed that everything is well in the Bihar NDA, the LJP, on Monday, burst the ‘goodwill’ bubble as the party staked claim to 42 seats. The LJP, led by Chirag Paswan, is one of the three constituents of the NDA in Bihar, the other two being the BJP and the JD-U.
“There is no question of contesting less than 42 seats. The BJP chief has already assured us that we will be given the same number of seats which came to our share under the seat-sharing arrangement in the last assembly elections,” LJP spokesperson Sanjay Kumar Singh told the media on Monday.
According to him, the strike rate of both BJP and the LJP was 100 per cent in the last LS polls while the JD-U had lost one seat. “On the basis of this calculation, 105 assembly seats should go to BJP’s share, 96 to the JD-U and the remaining 42 to the LJP out of the state’s total 243 seats.
The seat-sharing issue is yet to be finalised in the NDA. Although the BJP chief claims seat sharing is no problem for the NDA, the situation on the ground remains entirely different. While Nadda talks about only three parties in the NDA, the fact is that the fourth one, the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) headed by former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, is soon to join the NDA.
If that happens, the seats would have to be distributed among four partners since the Manjhi party has stoutly denied the merger of HAM with the JD-U. In that case, the number of seats to LJP’s share will obviously go sharply down. The problem is that while the LJP wants a maximum number of seats to expand its party base and keep the key of government formation with itself, the JD-U wants the lion’s share of seats to ensure it doesn’t remain too dependent on its allies to run the government. This has caused bitterness in the NDA. The situation has come to such a level that the JD-U has announced it doesn’t have any alliance with the LJP.
The LJP, on the other hand, says the JD-U is not their natural ally as it returned to the NDA only after it had won the 2014 LS polls. The LJP president Chirag Paswan has already gone on constantly attacking chief minister Nitish Kumar for his failure to tackle both Corona and floods.