BJP, Nitish Kumar And Paswans Announce Bihar Deal After Weeks Of Turmoil

Lok Sabha seat sharing in Bihar: The BJP and Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United will contest 17 seats each in Bihar for next year’s general elections; Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP will contest six seats

 

The BJP has formally announced seat shares in Bihar for next year’s general elections. The division is on expected lines — 17 each for the BJP and Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United and six for Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janashakti Party. The announcement — made by BJP chief Amit Shah — came days after the exit of ally Upendra Kushwaha and ironing out the differences with other key ally in Bihar, Mr Paswan.

Over the last few days, there have been hectic meetings between the BJP chief, senior party leader Arun Jaitley and Mr Paswan.

Unlike Mr Kushwaha, who was resentful over the depleted number of seats offered to accommodate Nitish Kumar, Mr Paswan had been upset over a Rajya Sabha seat he was promised by the BJP when the 50:50 seat sharing formula was announced in October.

After Mr Kushwaha’s exit, the LJP’s seat share was increased from four to six, but party insiders said Mr Paswan was more concerned about the Rajya Sabha seat, which he hoped to occupy.

Last week, Mr Paswan’s son Chirag Paswan warned the BJP of “consequences” that if the seat sharing was not finalised, triggering speculation about the LJP too being on its way out of the alliance. His series of tweets were followed by prompt invitations to join the mahagathbandhan from opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav and Upendra Kushwaha.