Is the BJP really keen to part significant number of seats with chief minister Nitish Kumar’s JD-U which won barely two seats out of Bihar’s 40 LS seats it had contested in the last 2014 LS polls, or, was its last month announcement about contesting equal number of seats with the JDU without taking the other two allies in confidence was a ploy to delay the seats-sharing process in the NDA? its still a confusion.
A million-dollar questions are being hotly debated in the political circles with BJP chief Amit Shah failing to keep his promise of making formal distribution of seats among its allies within the deadline he himself had set.
Shah on 27 October had announced that both the BJP and the JDU would be contesting on equal number of seats in Bihar in the next LS polls adding the exact number of seats each party will contest will be announced in the next “two-three days”.
The Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), a key BJP ally headed by union minister Upendra Kushwaha, dropped ample hints about the BJP’s alleged “game-plan” today when he said the delay in making announcement of seats among the allies could have been because of prevailing tension in the NDA.
“The process of seat distribution would have been completed had the BJP not taken note of his party’s concern,” Kushwaha said during media briefing in Patna. The “revelation” explains the BJP is no mood to ignore its other two allies, the RLSP and the Lok Janshkti Party (LJP) led by another Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan. The BJP had made a spectacular performance with the help of only two allies in Bihar—winning 31 out of state’s total 40 seats in the last LS polls.
The JD-U was not the part of the NDA then and had ended up winning just two seats out of 40 it had contested in alliance with the Communist Party of India which failed to open its account. Now the speculations in the media that both BJP and JD-U will be contesting on 17 seats each, leaving six for the remaining NDA partners have obviously left LJP and RLSP red faced.
Observers say they have reasons to register protests with the BJP given their terrific performance in the last polls—the LJP had won six of the seven seats whereas the RLSP had emerged victorious from all the three seats it was offered under the seat sharing. “The RLSP performance rate was 100 percent whereas the LJP was at 90 percent.
It was only too obvious that these two parties would have reacted over the BJP-JD-U proposed seat-sharing deal, and even the BJP chief was definitely aware about this,” explained a political expert adding this could have done so under the plan to delay the seat-sharing announcement on this very ground. Experts say the BJP leadership might have done so under constant pressures from the JDU to calm it down.
Right now, the NDA seatsharing deal looks virtually getting stuck up with the RLSP and the LJP adamant on contesting on same number of seats they had contested in the last Lok Sabha polls. Of them, Kushwaha party is more vocal and wants more seats claiming its support base has increased in the past four years.
So if their demand is met, the BJP and the JD-U will have to contest on 15 seats each while the BJP doesn’t look in a mood to make further sacrifices, it is said. The BJP alone was able to win 22 seats out of total 30 it had contested in the last LS polls.
“If the BJP agrees to the demand of RLSP-LJP, there will be only 15 seats coming to its share which means a sacrifice of its seven winning seats but if doesn’t, chances are that these two allies could walk out of the NDA. So, in my opinion, the JD-U will have to be ready to face the loss in number of seats,” observed an expert wishing not to be quoted.
According to him, JDU has lost its significant support base over the past few years owing its bizarre moves to frequently desert its allies midway.