Though opposed to an alliance with the Lok Jan Shakti Party all along, the Bharatiya Janata Party Bihar unit has now become reconciled to a tie-up and the ball is in the court of the national leadership. The State leaders, however, believe that the tie-up could only be an ad hoc arrangement.
“The BJP is a democratic party. We have had our say, but we will accept our leadership’s decision. Alliances do not happen at the State level; they happen at the national level,” Mangal Pandey, State unit president, said at a press conference here on Wednesday.
“He [LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan] was asking for four seats for his family and four for his men, whom the people have rejected. Many of us expressed our view against the alliance, which will not benefit us in the long run, but perhaps it could be an ad hoc arrangement,” BJP leader Ashwani Kumar Choubey told The Hindu. However, he saw the LJP’s reconciliatory stand on Narendra Modi as “a positive sign.”
LJP strongman Rama Singh and Veena Singh, wife of another strongman Suraj Bhan Singh, are among the claimants to seats.
“There is no dispute over the main seats, Hajipur, Samastipur, Jamui, which are for Mr. Paswan’s family members. Anyway, we were roping people from outside for them. The contention was over Khagaria, Munger and Vaishali constituencies, where we had our people. Since we were not expecting this alliance, we had readied our people for the last three seats,” a BJP source said. There are 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. The LJP’s seat-sharing talks with the Congress got deadlocked over the Jamui seat.