New Delhi: BJP and its Bihar allies on Sunday sealed the seat-sharing arrangement for the Lok Sabha elections with BJP president announcing that his party and the JD(U) will contest 17 seats each, while theLok Janshakti Party will get the remaining six.
Shah made the announcement in the presence of JD(U) president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and LJP chief and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan.
The LJP will also be given a Rajya Sabha berth and Paswan is likely to be is the candidate.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after announcing seat sharing for 2019 general elections: We are committed to development in Bihar. We are of the opinion that the Ram Mandir matter should be solved through a court decision. pic.twitter.com/bOvRDLhz1z
— ANI (@ANI) December 23, 2018
Following the BJP’s recent defeat in polls in five states, the remaining two NDA constituents in Bihar are likely to continue flexing their muscles as the elections approach.
Just this week, Upendra Kushwaha, the junior HRD minister in Narendra Modi’s government quit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance on December 10, citing differences with the BJP and the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) and soon after joined the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan’s son Chirag Paswan had recently underlined that the Ram temple “can be the agenda of one party but not of the NDA or government” after the BJP’s loss of electoral fortunes in the Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
With the exit of Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), the NDA in Bihar is now left with the LJP and chief minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U).
The opposition alliance in Bihar, which sends 40 members to the Lok Sabha, was strengthened by the RLSP joining the UPA. Apart from the Lalu Prasad-led RJD, which is the biggest UPA member in Bihar, the Congress, the Communist Party of India (ML-Liberation), Communist Party of India (CPI), RLSP and HAM will now take on the NDA in 2019.
(With agency inputs)