Bihar Assembly elections | BJP, JD(U) split seats evenly, to share with smaller allies

BJP leaders reiterate that only those who accept Nitish Kumar’s leadership will be part of NDA

Updated - October 06, 2020 07:49 pm IST

Published - October 06, 2020 06:12 pm IST - Patna

JD(U) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with Senior BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi during a press conference in Patna on October 6, 2020.

JD(U) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with Senior BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi during a press conference in Patna on October 6, 2020.

After several rounds of talks, the major NDA partners in Bihar — JD(U) and BJP — on Tuesday announced a seat-sharing formula for the upcoming Assembly election. The JD(U) will contest 122 seats while the BJP fight on one seat less at 121 for the 243-member Assembly.

Also read: Bihar Assembly polls | NDA seat-sharing meeting inconclusive

“The JD(U) will contest on 122 seats and give seven seats out of it to the alliance partner Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha (secular) and BJP would contest on 121 seats while accommodating the Vikashil Insaan Party from its own quota,” JD(U) president and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced at a crowded joint press meet along with BJP leaders.

Stating that there was no confusion in the NDA in Bihar, Mr. Kumar said, “We’ve been working since long to make Bihar a saksham (capable) State and will keep working for it.”

When asked about another NDA ally, the Lok Janshakti Party’s very aggressive stand on the JD(U), Mr. Kumar said, “I do not have to say anything on who says what…people have got freedom to speak.”

Also read: Bihar Assembly elections | LJP confirms decision to contest outside NDA

“Though LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan is indisposed these days and in hospital but, may I ask, could he go to the Rajya Sabha without any support of the JD(U),” asked Mr. Kumar.

Later, senior State BJP leader and Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi reiterated what the party’s state chief Sanjay Jaiswal had told media persons ahead of the press-meet that “those who will not accept Nitish Kumar’s leadership, would not be a part of NDA in Bihar.”

“Nitish Kumar is the face of NDA in Bihar poll and he will be the CM face of NDA as well”, he asserted while, adding, “I would request to media as well that there should not be any confusion over it.”

Mr. Sushil Modi, who is known to be close to Mr. Kumar, further said, “If needed we would write and request the Election Commission also that no other party, except we four — BJP, JD(U), HAM(S) and VIP — should be allowed to use pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during poll.”

Also read: NDA leaders mull seat sharing in poll-bound Bihar

“Whoever (BJP and JD-U) gets what number of seats, Nitish Kumar will be the Chief Minister of the State….there is no ifs and buts over it,” Mr. Sushil Modi said.

BJP State-in-charge Bhupendra Yadav, poll in-charge Devendra Fadnavis, Sanjay Jaiswal, and party leader Prem Kumar were all present in the press-meet as were senior JD(U) leaders.

However, even as BJP leader reiterated that Mr Kumar would lead the alliance into the poll, LJP president Chirag Paswan tweeted: “Soon after government formation in Bihar there will be an investigation into corruption in the Saat Nischay (seven resolutions) programme and all guilty will be sent to jail…and pending amount will be released soon so that unfinished work will also be done.” The Saat Nischay programme is an ambitious development programme helmed by Mr. Kumar.

Also read: With LJP’s solo act, BJP likely to gain in Bihar

Mr Paswan had last week announced that his party would go it alone in Bihar, saying that while the LJP would put up candidates against JD(U) on 143 seats, it would remain an ally of the BJP.

In another tweet on Tuesday, he said: “Power has gone to the head of Bihar government…they can do anything for (Chief Minister’s) chair…there is huge resentment among people for change and the time has come to show them their real worth”.

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