Hectic consultations are on between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal United (JDU) over NDA seat-sharing arrangement for the 2019 elections in Bihar. As per sources, the Nitish Kumar led party is insistent that both the JDU and the BJP get an equal share of seats to contest.
JDU is arguing for 16 seats each for the two parties but the BJP is seeking 17 seats. If the 16-16 equation is reached upon, the BJP and the JDU will contest on 32 seats out of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Out of the remaining 8 seats, Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party is likely to get five seats, Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) may get two seats. One seat is likely to be given to rebel RLSP MP Arun Kumar.
However, there are reports that Kushwaha may walk out of the NDA and join hands with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). If that happens, the two seats reserved for RLSP will be shared equally between the BJP and the JDU.
The tussle between the saffron party and the JDU is over an equal number of seats being allotted to the two parties. While the BJP is of the opinion that it should be getting 17 seats based upon its performance in the last elections, the JDU is unwilling to give a bigger share to the BJP.
There were reports in August that seat sharing formula had been agreed upon between the NDA in Bihar as per which BJP would contest on 20 seats, JDU on 12 seats and LJP on five seats. Sources had also said that the BJP may give one Lok Sabha seat each to the JDU in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand. However, the JDU had opposed to the formula and consultations between top leaders from all parties continued.