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BJP, JD(U) Reach Consensus on Seat Sharing Among NDA Partners, To Follow 20-20 Formula in Bihar

The JD(U), Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) of Upendra Kushwaha will get 12, five and two seats respectively, sources said.

Alok Kumar | News18dmalok

Updated:August 30, 2018, 9:23 PM IST
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BJP, JD(U) Reach Consensus on Seat Sharing Among NDA Partners, To Follow 20-20 Formula in Bihar
File photo of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and BJP chief Amit Shah. (PTI)
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Patna: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has agreed to leave two winning seats and contest only 20 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar as part of the twenty-twenty seat-sharing formula with Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) and other non-BJP allies.

The JD(U), Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) of Upendra Kushwaha will get 12, five and two seats respectively. According to sources, one seat will be left for Jehanabad MP Arun Kumar, who parted ways with Kushwaha.

News18 had reported earlier that the JD(U), LJP and RLSP had mooted the twenty-twenty proposal in April this year to reign in aggressive posturing by the BJP. The non-BJP partners had demanded that the saffron party spare 20 seats for them, which they would divide among themselves.

In the latest development, it is learnt that the BJP leadership has agreed on the formula. The BJP contested 30 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 and won on 22. However, it will relinquish two winning seats for the allies, which may include Darbhanga and Buxar. Darbhanga MP Kirti Azad has already been suspended from the party and Buxar MP Ashwini Chaubey is likely to shift to Bhagalpur.

Sources in the BJP told News18 that apart from Azad, Patna Sahib MP Shatrughan Sinha and Begusarai MP Bhola Singh may face the axe. Sinha has, of late, been a vocal critic of the Narendra Modi government and caused embarrassment to the party by openly lauding RJD’s Lalu Yadav and his leader of opposition son Tejashwi.

JD(U) state president Bashishtha Narayan Singh told News18 that broad consensus on seat sharing was reached on July 12 during the meeting between Kumar and BJP chief Amit Shah in Patna. “Seat sharing ceases to be an issue now but who will contest how many seats would be made public by the top leadership of the NDA constituents,” he said.

Reacting to the development, Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi said no official decision was taken on the seat-sharing arrangement in the state, adding that there was no feud over the issue. He said the target was 40 seats and all constituents were working towards that goal.

However, Kushwaha had on Tuesday denied any talk of seat sharing and even warned the BJP of possible consequences if the decision was not taken soon. He also made it clear that his party would demand more than the three seats it won in 2014, claiming that his base and outreach had expanded considerably in the past four years.

Kushwaha's recent overtures to the RJD, ignited by his ‘kheer’ theory and an open call to Kumar to step down from the post of chief minister, have kept both the BJP and the JD(U) on tenterhooks.

Kushwaha’s party leaders too believe he will join the opposition camp in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. In such a scenario, RLSP’s quota of seats will go to JD(U) and LJP.
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