Patna: The BJP has hit back at its ally JDU’s national vice-president Prashant Kishor for suggesting that Nitish Kumar’s party should get a larger seat share in the 2020 Bihar polls, saying those "engaged in the business of collating political data and coining slogans" were benefiting the opposition in the state.
Taking to Twitter, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Monday launched a veiled attack on the election strategist after he asserted that the JD(U) had a greater political heft in Bihar and, as such, it should contest more seats than the saffron party in the assembly polls due next year.
"The 2020 assembly polls in the state will be fought under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief
Minister Nitish Kumar. Seat-sharing will be finalised by top leaders of both parties at an appropriate time.
"No problems in that. But those, who have entered politics not driven by ideology but while engaged in the business of collating political data and coining slogans, are making utterances in violation of coalition dharma and benefiting the opposition in the bargain,” Modi tweeted.
2020 का विधानसभा चुनाव प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी और मुख्यमंत्री नीतीश कुमार के नेतृत्व में लड़ा जाना तय है। सीटों के तालमेल का निर्णय दोनों दलों का शीर्ष नेतृत्व समय पर करेगा। कोई समस्या नहीं है।— Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) December 30, 2019
लेकिन जो लोग किसी विचारधारा के तहत नहीं, बल्कि चुनावी डाटा जुटाने और नारे....... pic.twitter.com/aCIUmFkFgL
The remark, however, did not go down well with Kishor who said it was the people of Bihar, and not any leader or party, who had given the JDU the status of the largest party in the state. He also took a dig at Modi for his views on "political boundaries".
बिहार में @NitishKumar का नेतृत्व और JDU की सबसे बड़े दल की भूमिका बिहार की जनता ने तय किया है, किसी दूसरी पार्टी के नेता या शीर्ष नेतृत्व ने नहीं।— Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) December 31, 2019
2015 में हार के बाद भी परिस्थितिवश DY CM बनने वाले @SushilModi से राजनीतिक मर्यादा और विचारधारा पर व्याख्यान सुनना सुखद अनुभव है।
The BJP and JDU had contested equal number of seats in the general election that saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi storm to power and the BJP is reportedly of the view that the arrangement continue for the state election.
However, Kishor said the JDU should get more candidates than its partner based on the results of earlier elections.
"As of today, there is no discussion about the seat sharing but as and when the discussion happens, the ratio of seat sharing has to be basis 2009 and 2015. In 2009, JDU fought on 142 seats and BJP on 101, So the ratio was 1:1.4. In 2015, JDU won 71 and BJP 53 (when they contested against each other). Here again the ratio is 71/53, which equals to 1:1.35. As far as LJP is concerned, both parties could give equal number of seats from their respective quota," Kishor told News18.
Kishor's proposed formula comes after Shiv Sena quit the NDA over power-sharing disagreements with the BJP in Maharashtra, followed by a jolt to NDA in Jharkhand polls.
Sources in JDU told News18 that Kumar may be indulging in muscle flexing through his trusted lieutenant Kishor, popularly known as PK.
In a interview to CNN-News18 in October, Home Minister Amit Shah had said that the NDA would contest the assembly polls under the leadership of CM Kumar.
"The gathbandhan (coalition) is atal (unshakeable). The NDA will contest assembly polls under the leadership of Nitish Kumar in Bihar. Nationally, it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will continue to lead the coalition," Shah had said.
The NDA had made a clean sweep in Bihar in the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year, winning 39 out of 40 seats. The BJP and the LJP won 17 and six seats respectively, while the JD(U) succeeded in bagging 16 out of 17 that it had fought.
Among the opposition parties, only the Congress managed to win a seat while Lalu Prasad's RJD - which has ruled the state for over a decade and still has the highest number of MLAs — drew a blank.